Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2013 Contents A68
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, July 5, 2013
LONDON---One semifinalist is rebounding
from a taxing five-set comeback. Another
was so overwhelmed to reach the final four,
he sat on the court and wept. One more has
a knee that s being kept in action through
the miracles of ice baths, athletic tape and
And then there s Novak Djokovic.
Of the four men preparing for today s semi-
finals at Wimbledon, nobody has had an easier
run-in than the top-ranked and top-seeded
Serb, who remains the odds-on favourite to
win his seventh Grand Slam title.
"Coming into the semifinals, I feel physically
fresh," said Djokovic, who has won all 15 sets
he s played and averaged less than two hours
per match, the lowest total of any of the final
"And I m ready. Plenty of motivation to win
every match that I play here."
Djokovic will play eighth-seeded Juan Martin
del Potro, who also hasn t dropped a set in
his first five matches at Wimbledon, but is
the opposite of "fresh"---dealing with the
effects of hyperextending his left knee twice:
First in a match last Saturday, then again in
his quarterfinal victory over David Ferrer.
The other men s semifinal pits No 24 Jerzy
Janowicz, a 22-year-old from Poland who is
making his longest run at a Grand Slam, against
No 2 Andy Murray, who came back from two
sets down to advance to his fifth straight Wim-
Murray got himself into quite a bind in that
Fernando Verdasco match, but slowed things
down to make a meticulous comeback. He
was on the court for 3 hours, 27 minutes to
bring his total to 11 hours, 59 minutes, the
most of the four semifinalists.
How big a toll will all that take?
"You never know," Murray said. "The next
match will be different from the one today.
Who knows? Some of the guys, like Novak,
(haven t) lost a set yet. I m sure he s pretty
happy with where his game is at just now.
I m happy to be in the semis. Regardless of
whether it s been five sets or the first matches
were in three sets, it makes no difference."
Murray is trying to reach the final in the
fourth straight Grand Slam he s played. (He
missed this year s French Open with a back
injury). He carries the hopes of a nation with
him every time he steps on the court at Wim-
bledon. No British man has won the country s
Grand Slam since Fred Perry in 1936.
Janowicz is well aware of that.
"I hope Andy will feel some kind of pres-
sure," he said. "I m sure he ll feel some kind
of pressure because Great Britain is waiting
for the (British) champion in Wimbledon."
Janowicz knows all about the feeling of
playing for a country.
In an all-Polish quarterfinal, he defeated
Lukasz Kubot in a match he called "one of
the toughest matches of my life."
"I was never in a quarterfinal before. I never
had a chance to be in the semifinal of a Grand
Slam. I never played against Lukasz before,"
Janowicz said in describing the emotions of
When it was over, he traded shirts with
Kubot, football-style, then sat in his chair and
"You are practicing and working for that
kind of moment," Janowicz said. "So in my
case, it s not easy for me to control these emo-
Today, he will be the "other" player in the
match against Murray on Centre Court.
But Janowicz does have this: A win over
Murray last year in Paris, where he made a
run to the final that catapulted him more than
200 spots in the rankings to the top 25.
"Definitely not an easy match," Janowicz
said. "What can I say? We ll see. I was able
to win one match against him last year, so I
hope I m going to be able to do it one more
Del Potro s issues are more physical than
emotional. When he hyperextended his knee
and crumpled to the ground on the fifth point
of his match against Ferrer, it looked like he
wasn t going to get back up. After a visit from
the trainer, he did. But after advancing to his
first Grand Slam semifinal since 2009, when
he won the US Open, del Potro conceded there
was work to be done to get the knee ready for
Djokovic leads the series between the two
8-3 but their last meeting at the All England
Club came last year in the bronze medal match
of the Olympics; del Potro won 7-5, 6-4. Del
Potro also won the last time they played, at
Indian Wells earlier this year.
On the other hand, Djokovic has won all
three matches they ve played in Grand Slams,
most recently at last year s US Open.
Djokovic feeling fresh for Wimbledon semis
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