Novak Djokovic has brushed off the idea that he is concerned about a potential ban from the US Open after booking his spot in the Wimbledon semi-finals. The top seed came from two sets down to beat Jannik Sinner 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in what could be his final Grand Slam event of the year, with unvaccinated travellers still banned from the States.
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Djokovic is back in the Wimbledon semi-finals after battling back from two-sets-down to defeat 10th seed Sinner in a three-hour-and-35 minute epic on Centre Court. The world No 3 may be playing his last Grand Slam of the season at SW19, with America still not allowing unvaccinated travellers into the country while the US Open is now less than eight weeks away.
The Serb has already experienced being kept out of a Major tournament this year as he was deported from the country on the eve of the Australian Open in January, and he was asked whether the thought that Wimbledon could be his last Slam in a while was motivating him to clinch the title. But Djokovic brushed off the idea that fears over the US Open were in his mind as he said: “I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have completely new motivation because of the circumstances.
“I feel always very motivated and inspired to play the best tennis on the Grand Slams, particularly here. I mean, this is arguably the most important tournament in the history of our sport.” The six-time Wimbledon champion explained why his love affair with the All England Club was at the forefront of his mind and shut down the idea that he was concerned about any other tournament while in the semi-finals here.
“So, I mean, definitely for me it is. I have said it before that it has, this tournament and this Centre Court has inspired me to start playing tennis,” he continued. “Of course it was always my childhood dream to be here. Every time I step out on that court, I feel obliged to give it all, you know. But also inspired by the amazing setting of the Centre Court and of Wimbledon as most traditional historic tournament.”
And the 35-year-old didn’t sound troubled by the chance he would be unable to play in New York come August, as he added: “What happens after Wimbledon is really, you know, is unpredictable at the moment, so I don’t pay attention too much to that. I try to focus my thoughts here, and then we will see what happens afterwards.”
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The 20-time Major champion is instead looking ahead to his next challenge at the All England Club, as he faces either British No 1 Cam Norrie or David Goffin for a spot in another Wimbledon final.
“Look, you know, it’s semifinals of a Grand Slam. Whoever you get to face, it’s a show time, so better be at your best,” he admitted.