Novak Djokovic wins 33rd consecutive Wimbledon match to equal Roger Federer’s semi-final record

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Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic equals Roger Federer record as he reaches semi-finals

Novak Djokovic was too strong for Andrey Rublev – Getty Images/Daniel Leal

Novak Djokovic equalled Roger Federer’s record for the most men’s grand slam singles semi-final appearances in history by coming from a set down to defeat Andrey Rublev.

The Serbian’s 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 victory on Centre Court sent him through to the last four at a major for the 46th time and extended his winning run at Wimbledon to 33 matches.

Djokovic is now only two wins away from yet another grand slam title and, although this performance was not quite perfect, it was another demonstration of what it will take to stop the 36-year-old lifting the trophy for an eighth time.

Rublev played a terrific match yet landed only a glancing blow on Djokovic, with the Russian now the first man in the open era to have lost his first eight slam quarter-finals.

More to follow…

08:21 PM BST

Who does Djokovic play next and when?

He will meet Italy’s Jannik Sinner, who knocked out Roman Safiullin in four sets, on Friday.

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic equals Roger Federer record as he reaches semi-finals

Will Jannik Sinner be smiling on Friday? – AP/Alberto Pezzali

08:15 PM BST

More reaction from Djokovic

Any tennis player wants to be in the position where everyone wants to beat you. Pressure is a privilege. It never goes away. The pressure is paramount every time I come out on the court, especially here. It brings out the most beautiful emotions in me and inspires me to play my best tennis.

They want to get a scalp and they want to win. But it ain’t happening.

08:10 PM BST

Can anyone stop him?

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic equals Roger Federer record as he reaches semi-finals

Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning – Shutterstock/Tolga Akmen

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic equals Roger Federer record as he reaches semi-finals

Novak Djokovic won in four sets – Getty Images/Daniel Leal

08:03 PM BST

Djokovic reacts

There were some thrilling rallies. Andrey is a guy I respect a lot. His forehand is kind of scary.

He’s obviously someone who has been around the top 10 for a number of years and I have to congratulate him on a great match and a great tournament.

07:59 PM BST

The winning moment for Djokovic

07:47 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 Rublev

Djokovic is on a mission. He moves to 0-30 after a deep return rushes Rublev into netting a defensive backhand.

More jaw-dropping defence by Djokovic to stay in the point and he finishes it with a backhand winner down the line, three match points.

Rublev saves the first when Djokovic nets a forehand return. Djokovic angled volley, Rublev dives desperately for it but can’t get there. GAME. SET. MATCH. DJOKOVIC.

07:44 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 5-3 Rublev*

Still no joy on the Djokovic serve for Rublev as the Serbian holds to 15 and moves a game away from victory.

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev latest updates

Andrey Rublev looks on – Getty Images /Julian Finney

07:39 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 4-3 Rublev

More remarkable defence from Djokovic to keep himself in the rally and make Rublev hit an extra ball. And he’s rewarded with Rublev puts a forehand long after twice failing to put away an overhead, 0-15.

But Rublev responds and moves to 40-15 with a forehand winner and holds with an ace.

07:37 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 4-2 Rublev*

Forehand winner from Djokovic moves him to 40-0. And he holds with a backhand winner down the line which Rublev desperately chased down but couldn’t get near.

07:33 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 3-2 Rublev

118mph ace from Rublev to hold serve to 15. Credit to the Russian for not collapsing here and still giving the spectators a match.

07:31 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 3-1 Rublev*

Djokovic backhand long, 15-30. The players go toe-to-toe but Rublev blinks first when he hits a forehand long, 30-30.

Djokovic forehand winner, 40-30. And he holds with an ace to consolidate the break.

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev latest updates

Novak Djokovic on the slide – Telegraph/Eddie Mulholland

07:25 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 2-1 Rublev

Djokovic slides expertly into a forehand volley and Rublev can’t get the ball back into play, 15-30. Rublev hits a forehand into the corner, it’s called out and a Hawkeye challenge confirms it. Two break points.

Rublev saves the first break point. But not the second. He mis-hits a backhand and the ball flies wide.

Djokovic is edging closer to the semi-finals.

07:21 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 1-1 Rublev*

Djokovic follows Rublev with a love hold of his own. Everyone still coming to terms with the end of the third set I think.

07:18 PM BST

Fourth Set: Djokovic* 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 0-1 Rublev (*denotes next server)

Rublev starts the fourth set with a service hold to love. He left the court after losing the previous set for a comfort break.

He must be wondering what else he has to do to beat Djokovic.

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev latest updates

Novak Djokovic is a set away from the semi-finals – Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

07:12 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 Rublev*

Serving for the set, Djokovic moves to 30-15 after his wide serve catches the line and Rublev hits his forehand return into the tramlines.

Another forehand return error from Rublev and it is two set points. Rublev hangs in the game by directing a brilliant backhand winner down the line, 40-30.

Second set point squandered by Djokovic as he nets a backhand, deuce. Djokovic backhand long and it’s a break point for Rublev.

So smart from Djokovic as he serves and volleys to catch Rublev completely off guard, deuce. Djokovic overhead smash winner, third set point. Chance missed again by Djokovic when he goes for a forehand down the line but the ball drops beyond the baseline.

What a point! Great hustle by Rublev to get a low volley from Djokovic, who get the ball back in play but Rublev is there to finish with a backhand winner, second break point.

Rublev is well in the rally but then hits a backhand long, deuce. Really bad shot by the Russian.

Fourth set point Djokovic after Rublev sends a return long. Good return by Rublev and Djokovic hurriedly nets a forehand.

This game is the longest of the match at over 10 minutes.

Rublev just about manages to get his return into play, the ball lands short and Djokovic hits a backhand into the tramlines.

Rublev gets a look at a second serve but Djokovic hangs on, hits a drop shot and Rublev can’t get the ball over the net.

Set point for Djokovic and he finally takes it after pulling Rublev all over the baseline and Russian’s defensive lob drops into the tramlines.

What an incredible end to the set.

06:56 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 6-1, 5-4 Rublev

Rublev will rue those lapses of focus on his serve because he has served well today. And he holds here to 15 to stay in touch with Djokovic.

06:52 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 6-1, 5-3 Rublev*

Huge forehand down the line from Djokovic, Rublev gets a racket on it but only deflects the ball into the crowd, 15-15.

Excellent serving for Djokovic as Rublev fails to get three returns in a row back into play.

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev latest updates

Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Andrey Rublev – Getty Images/Sebastien Bozon

06:48 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 6-1, 4-3 Rublev

Another service game for Rublev where he is having to fight to win every point.

But he doesn’t do enough with his volley at the net and he’s punished as Djokovic passes him with a cross-court backhand, break point.

Big-time tennis from Rublev as he dictates the rally and finishes with a backhand winner down the line, deuce.

And he holds serve to just about keep himself in the set.

06:41 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 6-1, 4-2 Rublev*

Djokovic is just too consistent, too smart and ruthless for Rublev, despite his best efforts.

Djokovic consolidates the break by holding to 30 when Rublev’s sliced backhand drifts long.

Rublev gestures to his support box in frustration. He hasn’t done much wrong but is facing another quarter-final exit here.

06:35 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 6-1, 3-2 Rublev

Djokovic looks to be in lockdown mode here refusing to crumble first. The game goes to 30-30 and the next few points could be crucial.

Rublev’s lob over Djokovic goes long and it’s break point. Djokovic gets his return in play and Rublev nets a forehand.

Djokovic breaks.

06:32 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 6-1, 2-2 Rublev*

Both men serving very comfortably as Djokovic responds with his own love hold. I suspect Djokovic is biding his time before breaking Rublev, who is serving next.

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev latest updates

Andrey Rublev lays flat on the grass – Getty Images/Shaun Botterill

06:27 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 6-1, 1-2 Rublev

Big serving from Rublev and he holds to love in next to no time.

06:25 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 6-1, 1-1 Rublev*

Rublev is playing like he did in the first set, rushing Djokovic into errors and earning two break points.

He wastes the first by netting a forehand. Then the second when he hits a forehand into the tramlines.

And Djokovic survives that scare to hold. Will Rublev get another chance to break Djokovic?

06:19 PM BST

Third Set: Djokovic* 4-6, 6-1, 0-1 Rublev

Much better start to the third set from Rublev as he holds serve to 30 with an ace down the T.

Can he build some momentum?

06:17 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 6-1 Rublev*

Djokovic backhand winner to open the game. Rublev barely moved for it. Rublev forehand return long, 30-15.

Fourth Djokovic ace of the match, 40-15. Deep return by Rublev and Djokovic sends a backhand wide, 40-30.

Another deep Rublev return hurries Djokovic into an error, deuce. Brilliant point construction from Djokovic, having Rublev on strings and finishing with a forehand winner.

Rublev return long and Djokovic levels the match.

06:08 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 5-1 Rublev

Better from Rublev as he starts the game with a forehand winner then an ace, 0-30. White dust goes in the air as Djokovic finds the line with a backhand winner down the line, 15-30.

But Rublev ends Djokovic’s run of games with a hold to 15.

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev latest updates

Novak Djokovic returns to Andrey Rublev – AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

06:05 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 5-0 Rublev*

Hawkeye says the backhand winner that Djokovic hit in the last game was out. Rublev didn’t challenge it though.

Djokovic holds love here as Rublev looks like he’s given up on the set.

06:03 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 4-0 Rublev

Too good from Djokovic as he slides into a forehand and hits a stunning cross court winner, 0-15. Back-to-back unforced errors from Rublev, three break points.

Djokovic backhand return winner down the line to break for the second time.

This set is rapidly going Djokovic’s way.

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev latest updates

Novak Djokovic slides on the grass – Reuters/Toby Melville

06:00 PM BST

Djokovic 4-6, 3-0 Rublev*

Rublev backhand long, 15-15. Rublev mis-hits a forehand return but the ball drops in and bounces past Djokovic, 15-30.

Djokovic pumps himself up after Rublev nets a forehand, 30-30. Rublev whips a forehand pass beyond Djokovic as he attacks the net, break point.

Saved by Djokovic when Rublev doesn’t return his timely first serve, deuce. Djokovic nets a drop shot, second break point.

Rublev is in the rally then disappointingly hits a backhand long. And Djokovic holds when he puts away a cross court backhand winner.

05:54 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6, 2-0 Rublev

Djokovic has no business winning the opening point, showing incredible athleticism as he slides on the grass to keep himself in the point and Rublev goes long with a forehand.

Relief for Rublev as Djokovic sends a return long, 15-30. Double fault Rublev, 15-40.

Rublev saves the first with a forehand winner. But not the second after a long rally which ends when Djokovic hits drop shot and Rublev chases after it but puts his forehand wide.

Djokovic breaks early in the second set.

05:49 PM BST

Second Set: Djokovic 4-6, 1-0 Rublev*

As well as Rublev played, there’s no doubt Djokovic will respond and won’t be panicking.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion holds to love to start the set.

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev latest updates

Andrey Rublev won the first set – AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

05:44 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-6 Rublev

Rublev starts the games strongly, moving to 30-15. But then he nets a forehand down the line, 30-30. Big point coming up now.

Deep Rublev forehand catches the baseline and Djokovic nets a backhand, set point.

Djokovic backhand return into the net and we have a match on our hands as Rublev takes the opening set.

05:40 PM BST

Djokovic 4-5 Rublev*

Djokovic is yet to lose a point when he gets his first serve in.

Until he nets a drop shot to fall 15-30 down. Djokovic ace, 30-30. Djokovic overhead winner, 40-30.

Djokovic slips over as he tries to hit a forehand which goes into the net, break point Rublev.

Rublev gets Djokovic off balance again, gets a short ball and finishes with a forehand winner.

The Russian will serve for the set next.

05:34 PM BST

Djokovic* 4-4 Rublev

Rublev struggling with his ball toss as the wind picks up around Centre Court.

Back-to-back forehand winners from Rublev with the ball catching the line, 40-0. And he holds to 15 with his third forehand winner of the game.

05:31 PM BST

Djokovic 4-3 Rublev*

On his back foot, Djokovic hits a brilliant forehand winner down the line, 15-0. Rublev forehand into the net, 30-0. he’s furious at himself.

Second Djokovic forehand winner of the game and holds with a rare serve and volley winner.

Djokovic is spending a lot less time serving compared to Rublev.

05:28 PM BST

Djokovic* 3-3 Rublev

Rublev tries to get his forehand into play by running around his backhand but nets a forehand, 0-30. Djokovic wrong foots Rublev when he whips a forehand into the corner, 15-40.

The Russian saves the first when his wide first serve is unreturned. He finds another first serve and Djokovic’s return sails long, deuce.

Rublev forehand into the net, third break point. That was a bad miss. Rublev saves it again as Djokovic’s backhand catches the wind and goes long.

Rally of the match – exceptional defence from Djokovic and Rublev blinks first when he sends a forehand long. 83metres run in that point by Djokovic compared to 70 by Rublev.

Rublev forehand winner to hold. That was very important for Rublev.

Wimbledon 2023 live: Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev latest updates

Andrey Rublev serves to Novak Djokovic – AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

05:19 PM BST

Djokovic 3-2 Rublev*

Deft touch on the half volley from Djokovic, caressed the ball into the open court, 30-15.

Rublev tamely nets a backhand return off a Djokovic second serve. And the defending champions holds when Rublev hits a forehand wide.

05:17 PM BST

Djokovic* 2-2 Rublev

Routine service hold to 15 for Rublev. The Russian is getting 55 per cent of first serves in play.

That number will have to improve for him to have a chance today.

05:14 PM BST

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05:13 PM BST

Djokovic 2-1 Rublev*

Rublev takes a big swing at a forehand return and miscues it, 30-15. Stretch volley winner from Djokovic to control.

Rublev is hitting the ball very hard but Djokovic is unfazed at this stage of the match.

05:08 PM BST

Djokovic* 1-1 Rublev

Rublev will have to serve incredibly if he wants to have a chance today.

Djokovic takes the game to Rublev’s forehand and finishes with a forehand winner, 15-30. Djokovic has a chance at forehand pass but Rublev reads it and finishes with a volley winner, 30-30.

First ace of the match for Rublev, 40-30. And he holds when Djokovic’s return goes long.

05:03 PM BST

First Set: Djokovic 1-0 Rublev* (*denotes next server)

First sign of Rublev’s power as he forces Djokovic on the back foot and the Serbian puts a defensive backhand wide, 30-30.

But Djokovic takes the opening game of the match when Rublev hits a forehand long.

04:00 PM BST

Preview: Can ‘nice guy’ finish in the last four

Hello and welcome to coverage from Centre Court as Novak Djokovic takes on Andrey Rublev for a place in the men’s semi-finals.

Djokovic comes into the match as the major favourite to continue his bid to claim an eighth title at SW19 but Rublev will not be an easy opponent.

The Serbian needed two days to overcome Hubert Hurkacz and dropped a set for the first time in the competition this year.
And he is well aware of the test Rublev will post today.

He said: “Andrey Rublev is a fantastic player who’s got one of the best forehands in the game. Brings a lot of intensity to the court with his grunts. He kind of scares off his opponents across the net. Extremely nice guy. Very nice person. Works as hard as anybody out there to be a top-10 player, which he has been for the last several years. He’s one of the most consistent players on all surfaces. I have lots of respect for him.

Andrey Rublev is elated at the moment of victory

Rublev defeats Alexander Bublik in the fourth round after surrendering a 2-0 lead – REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

“I was surprised that he has actually never reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, which obviously will serve as a motivation more for him to be inspired and play his best tennis.

“Yeah, let’s see what happens. I’m going to have to prepare myself tactically differently for Rublev than I have for Hurkacz. Doesn’t have as powerful a serve as Hurkacz does, but he definitely has quicker hands, just very powerful game from the baseline. Yeah, I’ll hope to recover and be as fresh as I possibly can be.”

The match will be the eighth grand slam quarter-final of Rublev’s career, with the Russian having never previously progressed past the last eight at a major. He was beaten by Djokovic at the same stage in this year’s Australian Open.

Rublev was two sets ahead against Alexander Bublik but was pegged back by his opponent from Kazakhstan before going on to seal a 7-5 6-3 6-7 (6) 6-7 (5) 6-4 win after one of the most entertaining matches of the Championships.

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