Djokovic rallies to beat Cilic after stumble

20:02, Jul 02 2014
Stanislas Wawrinka
Stanislas Wawrinka stretches for a backhand shot during his first-round straight sets victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki adjusts her ponytail during her victory over Israel's Shahar Peer.
Fabio Fognini
Fabio Fognini throws his racquet to the turf after losing a point to Alex Kuznetsov.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga slips as he attempts to play a shot in a rain-delayed match against Jurgen Melzer.
Dominika Cibulkova
Dominika Cibulkova pumps her fist after overcoming Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.
Wimbledon fan
A tennis fan shelters herself from the rain with a seat cushion on day one.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer showed signs of old as he breezed by Paolo Lorenzi in the first round at Wimbledon.
Lleyton Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt recovered from losing a long tiebreaker in the second set to see off Poland's Michal Przysiezny in four sets.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova acknowledges the crowd after her straight sets victory over British wildcard Samantha Murray.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal lost the first set but recovered to record his 700th tour win.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray made quick work of Slovenian Blaz Rola in the second round, losing only two games.
Li Na
Li Na overcame Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6-2 6-2 in the second round at Wimbledon.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams stretches into the splits after she plays a shot during her win over Anna Tatishvili of the US.
Tennis umpire
A tennis umpire checks the height of an outside court at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon fans
Two tennis fans take in the action on day three at Wimbledon.
Steph Jones
Kiwi Steph Jones enjoys some strawberries and cream at the All England Club.
Wimbledon fans
Wimbledon fans peer through a hole in the fence to catch a glimpse of Japan's Misaki Doi and Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova serves during her second round match against Mona Barthel.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams lost just two games in cruising by South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers and into the third round at Wimbledon.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal plays a drop shot during his second round match against Czech Lukas Rosol.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic blows kisses to the crowd after her victory over China's Zheng Jie.
Stanislas Wawrinka
Stanislas Wawrinka takes a seat between points against Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams waits for the result of an appeal against Chanelle Scheepers.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray mowed past Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to reach the last 16.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic grimaces in pain after falling on his left shoulder diving for a shot.
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, of the Czech Republic, roars after upsetting No 2 seed Li Na in the third round.
Line judge
A Wimbledon line judge in action during a match between Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych.
Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match point in his victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Wimbledon fans
Tennis ball bra-wearing Wimbledon fans watch Andy Murray's match at an outdoor viewing area.
Wimbledon centre court
Wimbledon centre court as seen from the cheap seats.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal dropped the first set for the third straight match but rallied to win in four sets.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal dries himself off during a changeover in his match against Mikhail Kukushkin.
Wimbledon rain
The Wimbledon logo is seen through raindrops at the All England Club.
Wimbledon rain
Spectators shield under umbrellas on the outside courts as rain disrupts play on day six.
Wimbledon rain
A security guard stands watch as the roof in closed due to rain on Wimbledon's centre court.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova plays a forehand volley during her domination of American Alison Riske.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning his fourth round singles match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray of Great Britain shakes hands with Kevin Anderson of South Africa after their fourth round match on day seven at Wimbledon.
Feliciano Lopez
Feliciano Lopez of Spain hits a return to John Isner of the US during their men's singles match at Wimbledon.
Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland slips over during his singles match against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan at Wimbledon.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia is dejected after losing her fourth round match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany at Wimbledon.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki of Germany reacts after defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a forehand return during her fourth round match against Alize Cornet of France.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep became just the second Romanian, after Virginia Ruzici in 1978 and 1981, to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer stretches for a forehand during his domination of Tommy Robredo.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer needed just 94 minutes to finish off Tommy Robredo to reach the quarterfinals.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova saved six match points before eventually falling to Angelique Kerber in the fourth round.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams is treated by medical staff before a women's double match with sister Venus (left).
Milos Raonic
Milos Raonic is fired up after his Canada Day victory over Kei Nishikori.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia celebrates after his shock upset victory over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts to winning the third set tie-break during his men's singles match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia (left) shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in their men's singles tennis match at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios
Australian wildcard Nick Kyrgios reacts during his fourth round singles match with Rafael Nadal.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays a backhand return during his clash with Spain's Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep reeled off the last 11 games in her quarterfinal against Sabine Lisicki to surge into the Wimbledon semifinals.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep acknowledges the crowd after her quarterfinal victory over Sabine Lisicki.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki is at full stretch for a forehand stroke against Simona Halep.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard serves during her quarterfinal victory over Angelique Kerber.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray sit dejected with a towel over his head after his Wimbledon title defence ended in the quarterfinals.
Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match-point against Andy Murray.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic wipes away sweat during a change of ends during his quarterfinal against Marin Cilic.
Andy Murray
It just wasn't Andy Murray's day as the Wimbledon defending champ was bundled out of the tournament in straight sets by Grigor Dimitrov.
Petra Kvitova
After a first-set tiebreaker, Petra Kvitova took control in the second set, defeating Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
Lucie Safarova
Lucie Safarova stretches for a baseline forehand shot against Petra Kvitova.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard blasted past Simona Halep after a first-set tiebreaker to reach the Wimbledon final.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep (right) congratulates Eugenie Bouchard after their Wimbledon semifinal.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic plays a forehand return during her win over compatriot Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reacts after defeating Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a return during her women's singles semi-final match against Simona Halep of Romania at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during her Wimbledon match against Simona Halep of Romania.
Novak Dimitrov
Making it into the Wimbledon final meant much to Novak Djokovic.
Novak Dimitrov
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov shows his athleticism in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Novak Dimitrov
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer a crowd favourite at the All England Club where fans joined with him in celebrating his semifinal win.
Novak Dimitrov
Swiss tennis maestro Roger Federer shows his classic grace on court in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic poses with the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy after her victory in the Ladies' Singles final against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard at full stretch during the women's final.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates after defeating Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in the women's singles final.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova plays a forehand return during the Ladies' Singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard hits a forehand during the women's singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard with the runner-up trophy after the women's singles final against Petra Kvitova.
Novak Djokovic
CHAMPION: Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his second Wimbledon crown.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia blows kisses to the fans as he celebrates winning the Wimbledon title after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia eats some of the centre court grass after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand return to Roger Federer of Switzerland during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland after the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a backhand to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.

Top seed Novak Djokovic slipped and slid his way into the Wimbledon semifinals early today, overcoming Marin Cilic and the distractions of Henman Hill to win 6-1 3-6 6-7(4) 6-2 6-2  with the help of a new pair of shoes.

The Serbian former champion began efficiently against the lofty Croat, rattling through the first set in 27 minutes on a sunny but subdued court one.

The crowd had half an ear outside court one where spectators watching the big screen on the hill whooped and groaned through champion Andy Murray's defeat by 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Novak Djokovic
NERVOUS MOMENTS: Novak Djokovic gives the thumbs up to the crowd after rallying from 2-1 down to beat Marin Cilic in five sets in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Djokovic's intensity dropped in the second set. The world No 2 lost his footing several times in the baseline dust and his Croatian opponent grabbed a break of serve in the fourth game using his big forehand to pummel the six-times grand slam champion.

''We could hear the crowd during the match and it was a bit distracting; but no excuses, we had to concentrate,'' Djokovic said.

''I said to the chair umpire, Let's just stop the match, put it live on the big screen, and let's watch it till they're done.  It's going to be better for all of us.''

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The pair fought a tight third set, watched by their celebrity coaches, former champions Boris Becker and Goran Ivanisevic from the player's box.

SPECTACULAR TUMBLE

Djokovic hit the ground three times during the tiebreak, on one occasion tumbling spectacularly into the net.

''It was a tough five-setter. Coming in I knew Marin would play aggressively,'' he said.

''He raised his game but I allowed him to come back into it. I was too passive on my strokes and he used his opportunities, but I managed to find the right pace when I needed it.''

Djokovic donned a new pair of shoes early in the fourth set, upped the pace and raced into his 23rd semifinal, where he will meet 23-year-old Bulgarian Dimitrov.

''After I changed my shoes I played well,'' a smiling Djokovic  said.

''I had just a better grip. I had better movement. Maybe it was just mental, but anyway, it worked.''

He added he would keep the lucky shoes to play Dimitrov.

''It was a big win for Grigor. He's on fire this last six months,'' Djokovic said.

''The fact that he hasn't lost a match in the grass court season this year says enough about his quality.

''Also winning against Andy. I'm sure many people look at him as a potential grand slam winner.  Maybe here, maybe in the grand slams to follow.''

Reuters