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Djokovic defeats Norrie, reaches eighth Wimbledon tennis final and will go up against Kyrgios

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates at Wimbledon. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

Novak Djokovic got off to another slow start at Wimbledon on Friday afternoon, but it hardly mattered. It did nothing more than delay the inevitability of yet another final appearance at the All-England Club for Djokovic.

The six-time champion quickly recovered to defeat Cameron Norrie 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the lone men’s singles semifinal. Nick Kyrgios got a walkover from Rafael Nadal in the bottom half of the draw, so it will be Djokovic vs. Kyrgios for the title on Sunday.

Norrie at least managed to give the British faithful some brief hope. The 26-year-old played a solid first set and let Djokovic implode with error after error.

“I think I played okay,” Norrie said of the opening set. “I just made a lot of returns. I hit the spots well on my serve…. I think it was a 6 out of 10 set. I think I was running a lot, put a lot of balls in the court. I felt like he was a bit nervous; he wasn’t serving as well as I’ve seen him serve. I was winning all the rallies and winning all the longer points. It was a solid set.

“I knew that I had to keep raising the level to have a chance. (In) my first Grand Slam (semifinal) when you take the set 6-2, you take that. Yeah, it was a good start. But it wasn’t enough.”

Not even close.

Djokovic dominated the entire rest of the match. The No. 1 seed lost only 10 total service points in sets two, three, and four without facing a single break point. He was so efficient that the four-setter lasted just two hours and 35 minutes. Djokovic finished with 13 aces compared to one double-fault and recorded 10 more winners than errors.

“Obviously it’s always a goal to get to the championship match,” Djokovic assured. “Of course, I’m very satisfied and pleased that I am putting myself in a position to win the trophy.

“(It was a) good match today. (I) didn’t start off well as I did in most of my matches here in Wimbledon; didn’t feel so good at the beginning — a lot of mistakes. (I) just didn’t find my rhythm. Nerves were kicking in for both of us. He handled them better and was a better player for a set and a half.

“One poor game from his side 4-3 second set, the match turned around. I think the momentum shifted. I started feeling better, serving better, just getting him to move around the court, (and) making him work. (It was a) solid, solid three sets after that. I know I always expect from myself that I can play better than I did. But I have to be pleased with this win.”

One more win will put the 35-year-old Serb one Wimbledon title away from Roger Federer’s eight and one Grand Slam title away from Nadal’s 22.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.