Defending champion Novak Djokovic snuffed out a promising start by David Goffin to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals. The Serbian world number one went a break down in the first set to the speedy Belgian before turning it round in clinical fashion to win 6-4 6-0 6-2.
Djokovic, 32, will face Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut or Argentina’s Guido Pella for a place in Sunday’s final. The top seed is chasing a fifth Wimbledon crown and 16th Grand Slam.
He started well, Djokovic said. He was dictating the play from the baseline. Things could have gone a different way – who knows what the match would have looked like if I had lost the first set – but I was very pleased with the second and third. Djokovic had lost to world number 23 Goffin in their previous meeting two years ago in Monte Carlo and so it was no surprise that the Belgian came out fired up for a repeat. The 28-year-old put early pressure on Djokovic, taking him to deuce in the Serb’s opening service game and forging two break points in his second, before breaking in his fourth with dominant play from the baseline.
But that was the last thing that went the Belgian’s way as Djokovic sent over a beautiful drop shot to break back immediately and then never looked back, rattling off 10 games in a row.
Before this match Djokovic had averaged less than two hours on court per match and he kept that up with this victory in one hour 57 minutes, also dropping the fewest games in his campaign so far.
After absorbing the early pressure from Goffin, who had been seeking to reach a first Grand Slam semi-final, Djokovic took control of every aspect of the match. He took the second set with an emphatic smash and wrapped up victory when Goffin sent a backhand wide, reaching his ninth Wimbledon semi-final. I had a tough match in the third round, Djokovic said, referring to his four-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. Other than that, I’ve won in straight sets and played really well throughout the tournament. It’s exactly what I wanted and hopefully I can go in the right direction in the semis as well.