Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic hopes big-game experience turns tide against Richard Gasquet
Defending champion Novak Djokovic says his extra experience of Wimbledon`s showpiece occasions should prove decisive when he faces Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals.
London: Defending champion Novak Djokovic says his extra experience of Wimbledon`s showpiece occasions should prove decisive when he faces Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals.
Djokovic, the world number one, booked his 27th Grand Slam semi-final appearance and his sixth in a row at the All England Club with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 rout of US Open champion Marin Cilic on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old will be making his seventh Wimbledon last four appearance, while French 21st seed Gasquet is in just his second All England semi-final after a surprise win over fourth seed Stan Wawrinka.
Gasquet has also appeared in one US Open semi-final, but has never made the final of a major and Djokovic is confident his big-game knowledge will prove decisive on Centre Court on Friday.
"Obviously an experience of being in these final stages of Wimbledon many times is going to help me to approach it in a proper way," Djokovic said.
"I`ve been playing really good. I`m hoping I have that extra gear. I`m hoping it can come out now in the semi-finals, the final stages of the tournament.
"I worked very hard to get myself in position to fight for the big trophies. I want to keep on going."
After being pushed to the brink of a shock fourth round exit by big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, who held a two set lead before losing in five, Djokovic believes he is now battle-hardened for the business end of the tournament.
"I came back from two sets down. Played over the course of two days. It allowed me to really feel like I`ve encountered already the toughest match situations," he said.
"So I have that match in my mind now because in the first week I wasn`t really tested.
"It was really good that I had that match against Kevin."Just a month after his heartbreaking loss against Wawrinka in the French Open final -- a defeat that denied Djokovic the only Grand Slam title to elude him -- the Serb looks back in peak form at the All England Club.
He is within touching distance of a fourth Wimbledon final as he looks to add a ninth Grand Slam title and a third at Wimbledon to his collection.
"After losing the Roland Garros final, it was not easy for me mentally to bounce back, to get myself motivated," he said.
"So I think it`s great that only a couple of weeks later we have another Grand Slam, the biggest one.
"This is the trophy that I always dreamt of winning. It definitely has a very special place in my heart.
"That`s why I put myself in a position to make myself responsible to be out here fighting."
Djokovic`s semi-final maybe slightly overshadowed by the titanic last four clash between seven-time champion Roger Federer and 2013 winner Andy Murray.
Asked who he would prefer to win, Djokovic said with a smile: "Nobody! I can`t pick a favourite honestly because, yes, Roger is maybe better ranked than Andy.
"He has an incredible history of success in Wimbledon. But Andy has been playing some of his best tennis this year.
"It`s really hard to say. I think it`s going to be a really good match."