Top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic is just a match away from a 16th Grand Slam final, with the Serbian overcoming the challenge of 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets to continue his defence of the Wimbledon title he won for a fourth time last year.
Understandably Djokovic was a sizeable favorite heading into this encounter, leading the head to head 7-3 and having much more experience at this stage of a Grand Slam tournament. However, Bautista Agut was certainly not a huge underdog, having rallied from a set down to beat the defending champion twice on the ATP Tour this year, and also having taken a set in all three of their previous Grand Slam meetings- though Djokovic did eventually prevail in those matches.
This match proved to follow a similar format today. After Djokovic dominated the first set, the Spaniard fought back in the second and evened up at one set all, taking advantage of some flat play from the Serbian. However, Djokovic secured one break in the third set to take it, and was too good in the fourth to seal a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win in two hours and 45 minutes, setting up a meeting with Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer.
Djokovic fends off Bautista Agut’s challenge to reach final
Bautista Agut had never reached this stage of a major before and that perhaps showed early on, with Djokovic breaking the nervy-looking Spaniard for an early 3-0 lead. Bautista Agut was able to work his way into the set with two solid holds, though Djokovic was untouchable on serve, and the top seed broke for the second time at 5-2 to seal a straightforward opening set.
Djokovic won the first set comfortably, but quickly found himself down in set two as Bautista Agut broke, consolidating for a 3-1 lead. The Serbian continued to be tested on serve, saving two further break points down 1-3, but he could not cause too much trouble on Bautista Agut’s serve, and the 23rd seed comfortably held up 5-4 to level at one set all.
There was little between the two in the opening few games of the first set, but after a flat passage of play from Djokovic, the defending champion struck decisively, breaking for a 4-2 lead, and saving two break points to hold for 5-2. Bautista Agut held to force Djokovic to serve for the set, but the world number one had no trouble in doing so.
Djokovic was on top right from the very start of the fourth set, forcing break points in the opening game, and despite missing them broke on Bautista Agut’s next service game on his way to a 3-1 lead. A second break, consolidated for a 5-1 lead, virtually secured his spot in the final as whilst Bautista Agut forced him to serve it out, Djokovic converted a fifth match point in a tight service game to reach the final.