London: Following Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from the semifinal match due to an abdominal injury, defending champion Novak Djokovic is now a strong contender to retain the Wimbledon 2022 title.
The Spaniard had to pull out on Thursday before his semi-final encounter against Kyrgios of Australia due to an abdominal injury.
Nadal’s semi-final pullout changed the complexion of the tournament. With the injury of Nadal, Kyrgios got a freebie and moved into the final. The Australian, who has been playing well, earlier defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third-round match.
In his quarter-final encounter on Tuesday, Djokovic had to sweat on the court against Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner. After losing the first two sets, the Sebs came back strongly and clinched the match and booked his place in the semis.
Djokovic is in quest of his seventh title at the All England Club to equal Pete Sampras and just one behind Roger Federer in men’s singles. He is on the brink of playing his 32nd Grand Slam singles final. If he wins Wimbledon, it will be his 21st grand slam title, one more than Fedrer and one less than Nadal.
Djokovic is gearing up against British ninth seed Cameron Norrie for the semi-final clash on Friday. Norrie is in tremendous form and playing his best tennis at this year’s Wimbledon. He had never progressed beyond the third round before this year’s Wimbledon. Despite the home support for the British, it would be a daunting task for him to flatten the Sebs. But sports are known for uncertainty, so anything could happen.
Both semifinalists had met once before, where Djokovic drubbed Norrie. He is an underdog and has nothing to lose.