Novak Djokovic, Ons Jabeur rally to advance to semis at Wimbledon; Taylor Fritz faces Rafael Nadal

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Serbian Novak Djokovic celebrates his quarterfinal win over Italian Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon 2022 on Tuesday in London. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

July 6 (UPI) — Novak Djokovic and Ons Jabeur, the top remaining seeds in the men’s and women’s singles draws at Wimbledon, each rallied from early setbacks to clinch semifinal spots at tennis’ most prestigious Grand Slam.

Djokovic, the top men’s seed, lost his first two sets to No. 10 Jannik Sinner of Italy in London on Tuesday. The Serbian then rallied to win 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

“I just felt like I had to change something,” Djokovic told reporters after the match. “I was not playing well, I was not feeling well on the court, I was dominated by Sinner.

“Thankfully Grand Slams are played in best-of-five, so I had opportunity to come back.”

Djokovic logged eight aces and 41 winners, but converted 6 of 15 break point opportunities. Sinner totaled eight aces, 43 winners and converted 4 of 9 break point chances in the three-hour, 35-minute match.

Djokovic will now face No. 9 Cameron Norrie of England in the semifinals Thursday at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Norrie advanced with a five-set win over David Goffin of Belgium. He dropped two of the first three sets in that 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 triumph.

Cristian Garin of Chile will face Nick Kyrgios of Australia in another men’s quarterfinal Wednesday at Wimbledon.

The winner of that match will play the winner of the other men’s quarterfinal — No. 2 Rafal Nadal of Spain or No. 11 Taylor Fritz of the United States — in the semifinals. That victor will face the winner of the Djokovic-Norrie match in the men’s singles final.

Nadal, who’s already won the first two Grand Slam tournaments this year, and Fritz, the last American man remaining in the draw, will play their quarterfinal match on Wednesday. If Fritz can pull off the upset, he’ll be the first American man to advance to a Grand Slam semifinal since Jon Isner in 2018. No American man has reached a Grand Slam final since 2009 and none have won a Slam title since 2003.

On the women’s side, Jabeur bounced Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. The Tunisian, and No. 3 women’s seed, did not log an ace, but fired 30 winners and converted 6 of 9 break points in the quarterfinal.

“I knew Marie was going to come and really make me work to win a point,” Jabeur said.

“She’s a talented player and I’m really happy that I woke up in the second set and I played much better in the third set.”

Jabeur will face Tatjana Maria in the first women’s semifinal Thursday in London.

Maria beat fellow German Jule Niemeier 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the quarterfinals. She logged four aces and converted 5 of 7 break point opportunities.

No. 17 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan will face Ajla Tomjanovic of Australia in the first of two women’s quarterfinals Wednesday at Wimbledon.

No. 16 Simona Halep of Romania will meet No. 20 Amanda Anisimova of the United States in the last women’s quarterfinal.

The winners from those two matches will meet Thursday in the semifinals.

Wimbledon coverage will air from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT Wednesday on ESPN and ESPN2.

Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie celebrates during his Quarter-Final match against Belgian David Goffin on day nine of the Wimbledon championships in London on July 5, 2022. Norrie won the match 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

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