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Joker in wimbledon final
London (AFP): Novak Djokovic defeated heroic Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 on Friday in the longest Wimbledon semi-final...
London (AFP): Novak Djokovic defeated heroic Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 on Friday in the longest Wimbledon semi-final in history to move into his 11th Grand Slam title match. In a titanic struggle played out over four hours and 43 minutes, world number one Djokovic squandered two match points in the fourth set tiebreak before going on to seal a final clash against either British second seed Andy Murray, the runner-up last year, or 24th seeded Pole Jerzy Janowicz. The top-seeded Serb, the champion in 2011, leads Murray 11-7 in career meetings but has yet to face Janowicz, the first Polish man to make the semi-finals of a major. Djokovic, bidding for a seventh Grand Slam crown, fired 22 aces and 80 winners in his breathtaking win over the luckless Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, who had been hoping to become just the second Argentine to make the Wimbledon final. "It was one of the best matches I've been part of, certainly one of the most exciting. It was so close and nothing could separate us," said Djokovic. "But that's why he is a Grand Slam champion, every time he was in a tough situation he comes up with unbelievable shots. "I'm very proud to go through. When I lost the fourth set of course it was disappointing because I was close to winning and didn't capitalise. He came up with some big forehands. It was a very high level of tennis. "I was ready to go five sets. I was able to stay tough and get through in the end." Del Potro, who had defeated the Serb for the Olympic bronze medal at Wimbledon last year, had matched Djokovic blow for blow in the first set but had to bat back a break point in the sixth game to stay on level terms. At 6-5, Djokovic stepped it up, a backhand from off his toes landing in the corner before a backhand off-balance from the Argentine sailed long. The Serb, playing in his fourth successive Wimbledon semi-final, sensed blood and a wide forehand from the suddenly besieged Del Potro gave the world number one the opener. Djokovic was rewarded for his positive approach. His 14 winners comfortably trumped the meagre four that the eighth seed, still with his left knee heavily-strapped, could manage. Del Potro called for the doctor after slipping down 3-2 in the second set, but the consultation didn't remedy his problems against the top seed as he immediately had to fend off four break points.