Wimbledon 2021: Novak Djokovic, Denis Shapovalov to face off in semifinals

Wednesday is men's quarterfinals day at Wimbledon. We'll see Wimbledon legend Roger Federer, surging after a strategic withdrawal from the French Open, and Novak Djokovic, hunting for a win to get closer to completing the third leg of his Golden Slam journey. 

Will unseeded upstart Marton Fucsovics be able to take down the seemingly invincible Djokovic? Will Federer be able to continue his roll? And what will we see from Matteo Berrettini, the face of the new movement of Italian men's tennis? Check back here for all the results. 

Djokovic overcomes Fucsovics

It was no surprise that No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat unseeded Hungarian Marton Fuscovics to reach the semifinals. Djokovic wins now feel inevitable, but the 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 score doesn't tell the whole story of the match. Fuscovics went from looking entirely overwhelmed to hanging in there with the best there is. 

When the match began, it looked like Djokovic was going to run away with it. He won the first five games in dominant fashion, but then Fucsovics found his feet. He won four straight points to put himself on the board, then won two more games before Djokovic was able to answer back and win the set. 

Bolstered by his performance to close out the first set, Fucsovics came out swinging in the second set. He looked much more sure of himself and started going toe-to-toe with Djokovic. Fucsovics won the first game, but when Djokovic pulled even, Fucsovics responded by putting up another win. Once they were tied 4-4, Djokovic started taking control and won the next game, getting his first lead of the set. The momentum shifted, and Fucsovics started doing what he’d been doing to start the match: playing nervous and beating himself with unforced errors. In a matter of minutes, Djokovic went from playing catch-up to winning the set. 

Down two sets, Fucsovics tried to find any possible advantage. Against most other opponents, he might’ve been able to. But against Djokovic, who has been on fire since the Australian Open in Jan., it’s close to impossible — especially when you’re playing him from behind. Fucsovics just couldn’t escape the constant errors on his forehand, which set him back almost every time he had a chance to get ahead. He showed some late life, but was really just prolonging the inevitable. 

Another day, another semi-final for @DjokerNole#Wimbledonpic.twitter.com/tT7i9yfACE

— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2021

Denis Shapovalov outlasts Karen Khachanov in five-set thriller

Denis Shapovalov, a 22-year-old Canadian seeded No. 10, will need Thursday's off day after beating Russia's Karen Khachanov 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in a roller coaster match that lasted almost three-and-a-half hours.

Shapovalov was unwavering in his approach throughout the match: be aggressive, take risks, and look for winners. After winning the first set, he dropped the first four games of the second set. He could have taken a step back and reined in his approach, but he kept at it and took three games from Khachanov before yielding the set. The third set displayed how evenly matched both competitors were: they traded games until they were 5-5, and then Khachanov took the next two to narrowly take the set. 

Denis Drop-shot-a-lov 😉#Wimbledon | @denis_shapopic.twitter.com/BTs7Z1K4cU

— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2021

Down 2-1, Shapovalov had to win to stay alive, and he responded with an absolutely dominant set. Khachanov took the second game, but the rest of it was all Shapovalov, who was seeing his aggressive approach pay off. It could have gone either way in the fifth set, but Shapovalov's willingness to take risks gave him the edge and the overall win. 

Shapovalov is headed to his first Grand Slam semifinal, where he'll face 10-time Wimbledon semifinalist Novak Djokovic. He knows that beating the world No. 1 will be a tall order, but he's choosing to remain optimistic. 

🇨🇦 Denis Shapovalov discusses the daunting task of facing Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. #Wimbledonpic.twitter.com/WExIGv6jQq

— TSN (@TSN_Sports) July 7, 2021

Denis Shapovalov on facing Djokovic: "He's the best player in the world but I think anything is possible. When you look at the scoreboard first thing on Friday, it's gonna be 0-0. Nothing else matters. It's a tennis match and it can go either way. I have full belief in my team."

— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) July 7, 2021

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