Djokovic outlasts Bautista Agut to reach final
Top seed Novak Djokovic will try for his fifth Wimbledon title on Sunday after beating No. 23 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in Friday's first semifinal at the All-England Club.
Bautista Agut had beaten Djokovic in both of their prior meetings this year, but had never faced the Serbian star on grass. With Friday's win, Djokovic now leads their rivalry 8-3.
After Djokovic cruised through the opening set, Bautista Agut picked up a break early in the second set and held the rest of the way to tie things up.
In the third set, both players held until the sixth service game, when Djokovic earned his first break opportunity since the first set and took full advantage to go up 4-2 and seize the momentum.
After a marathon hold to open the fourth set, Bautista Agut dropped his next two service games to fall behind 4-1. In the final game, Bautista Agut fought off four match points before finally succumbing.
The other semifinal features the 40th installment of the storied rivalry between Switzerland's Roger Federer and Spain's Rafael Nadal.
Federer is the tournament's second seed, while Nadal is seeded third -- a flip-flop of their rankings due to Wimbledon's unique seeding system.
It marks the second consecutive grand slam tournament in which Djokovic, Federer and Nadal all reached the semifinals -- Nadal prevailed in June for his 12th French Open title -- after the trio previously hadn't done so since 2012 at Roland Garros.
Nadal beat Federer in straight sets in the French Open semifinals last month, but the two haven't met at Wimbledon since 2008, when Nadal prevailed in a five-set thriller to claim his first title at the All England Club. Friday will mark their fourth meeting overall at Wimbledon, after Federer won in the 2006 and 2007 finals.
Nadal leads the all-time series 24-15, though Federer had won six straight before the semifinal loss at Roland Garros.
Djokovic improved to 71-10 at Wimbledon, two days after becoming just the fourth man in the Open Era to reach the 70-win mark, joining Federer, Jimmy Connors and Boris Becker.
--Field Level Media
© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained in this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.