Wimbledon 2013: Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin del Potro - LIVE! - Live coverage - The Independent

Wimbledon 2013: Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin del Potro - LIVE!

By Jack de Menezes

by Jack de Menezes on Jul 5, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of today's Wimbledon semi-finals, starting with Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin del Potro.

We want to hear from you. To do this, click the 'Make a comment' button below and we'll post the best ones. 

In the meantime, follow the latest news and updates below... 

  • Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of this Wimbledon men's semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro at the All England Tennis Club.
    7/5/2013 10:39:00 AM
  • 7/5/2013 10:42:42 AM
  • 7/5/2013 10:50:15 AM
  • History suggests del Potro is up against it when he faces Djokovic today, writes Steve Tongue.

    A list of head-to-head results against Novak Djokovic does not make good reading for many players. In the case of semi-final opponent Juan Martin del Potro, the score is a stark 3-8, and one of Del Potro's three successes was on a retirement.
    To read more on the task that del Potro faces today, click HERE.
    7/5/2013 11:33:34 AM
  • Having ruled the tennis world for some time now, James Lawton looks at whether Djokovic can continue to improve.
    They were just a little chilling in the reach of their ambition and they followed hard on the kind of crisis management that separates not only great players from the merely good but also those who believe they are born to rule the world in one way or another.
    To read more about Djokivic and what he had to say before the game, click HERE.
    7/5/2013 11:35:03 AM
  • Hello and welcome to our coverage of today's semi-final matches at WImbledon. I'm Jack de Menezes and I'll be bringing you game-by-game updates from both matches, starting with Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin del Potro. WIth just over 20 minutes to go until we start, take a look at the stories below to see the task that del Potro faces, and how Djokovic can continue to improve despite his No 1 ranking.
    7/5/2013 11:41:48 AM
  • So what do we know about del Potro? He currently sits eighth in the world rankings, and won the 2009 US Open in his one and only Grand Slam final. Hailing from Tandil in Argentina, the 24-year-old is appearing in the semi-finals at SW19 for the first time, having never progressed beyond the fourth round before this year. His highest previous ranking came when he won the US Open as he moved up to fourth in the world, but he has since suffered injuries and slipped down the rankings. 

    He beat Albert Ramos in the first round, Jesse Levine in the second, met Grega Zemlja in the third round before seeing off Andreas Seppi and David Ferrer to reach this stage.
    7/5/2013 11:49:19 AM
  • And what about Djokovic? Of course, he won this tournament in 2011, beating Rafael Nadal in the final. He has been ranked number one twice, returning to the top of the game late last year and having remained there since. This is his eighth appearances at Wimbledon (ninth if you count the Olympics) and the fourth time he has reached the semi-finals
    7/5/2013 11:55:12 AM
  • Coincidentally, these two met in the Olympic Bronze medal play-off, and it was del Potro who emerged victorious. However, the Argentinian suffered a horrible fall in the opening stages of his quarter-final with David Ferrer on Wednesday, hyper-extending his left knee, but he battled on to win in straight-sets. Will he be effected by that injury today? You have to hope not as a neutral. 
    7/5/2013 11:57:56 AM
  • Remember, you can vote on who you think will win today's match in our poll, and you can also contribute to the discussion by leaving a comment. Get involved! It's the Wimbledon semi-finals!
    7/5/2013 11:59:08 AM
  • The players are just walking out onto Centre Court to a round of polite applause. You can probaly expect that to liven up a little the next time two players emerge for a semi-final. We'll have a short warm-up, and should be ready to start in around 10 minutes.
    7/5/2013 12:01:54 PM
  • Looks as though del Potro has won the toss and will receive. An interesting decision, and perhaps he feels he can catch out Djokovic early-on.
    7/5/2013 12:04:00 PM
  • Djokovic is of course favourite for the entire tournament, and he leads the way in the last three meetings 2-1, though all those matches were on a hard court. Tim Henman has backed Djokovic in three sets, while Boris Becker has also backed the Serb, but feels he'll have to go to at least a fourth set.
    7/5/2013 12:07:52 PM
  • The player's are done warming-up and we're nearly ready to go. 50% of you are backing Djokovic to win in three, while del Potro has just 17% of your backing. The umpire calls for play, and we're off!
    7/5/2013 12:11:14 PM
  • Djokovic 1-0 del Potro*:
    Djokovic finds his rhythm early, hitting his first winner on the second point. Del Potro catches him out when he attacks the Serb's second-serve, but Djokovic is having none of it and finishes the game with an ace.
    7/5/2013 12:14:26 PM
  • *Djokovic 1-1 del Potro:
    The Argentinian starts the game with an ace on his very first serve, and his knee looks to be fine so far. Djokovic gets into the game, albeit briefly as del Potro holds serve comfortably.
    7/5/2013 12:19:01 PM
  • Djokovic 2-1 del Potro*:
    Djokovic responds with a game to love, getting his first-serve working quickly as he fires off yet another ace. Both player's look settled on their own serve, and it may take a mistake or two to decide this first set. Good signs early on from Djokvic though.
    7/5/2013 12:20:50 PM
  • *Djokovic 2-2 del Potro:
    Yet another ace for del Potro. Lovely serving here. Djokovic isn't happy with that backhand and cries out "aye aye aye" as it finds the net, showing us all his hidden Mexican roots. He finds the net again, and del Potro holds serve. A slow start so far, and the crowd are strangely quiet at the moment.
    7/5/2013 12:22:59 PM
  • Djokovic 3-2 del Potro*:
    The world No 1 shows how lethal he can be as after del Potro works his way into the point, Djokovic dashes any chance of losing it when he calmly sends the Argentinian the wrong way. Easy stuff, and he just seems to be going through the motions on his serve. No shouts from the crowd as ofyet, perhaps they haven't had enough Pimms. It's still early...
    7/5/2013 12:26:56 PM
  • *Djokovic 3-3 del Potro:
    It's heating up - the sun that is, as Djokovic elects to protect his head by putting on a cap. Meanwhile, del Potro hits a lovely shot down the left line, but Djokovic gets a little lucky with a net deflection falling on del Potro's side. We have our first challenge, and Djokovic wins it corrctly calling a serve out. It forces del Potro to double-fault, and he seems a little rattled as he hits long. Djokovic has his first break-point, but he doesn't take it as he's unable to return serve. We get our longest rally so far at 24 shots, and this really is a mammoth game. Djokovic finally hits long, and 13 minutes after we started the game, del Potro holds.
    7/5/2013 12:39:01 PM
  • In the Royal Box today is...the Pink Panther! Oh wait, that's British boxer Amir Khan and his partner Faryal Makhdoom

    7/5/2013 12:40:46 PM
  • Djokovic 4-3 del Potro*:
    Much quicker game despite del Potro winning a couple of points to 15-30. Djokovic doesn't panic though and holds serve to 30. The knee injury to del Potro just looks to be restricting him a little, especially in the long points.
    7/5/2013 12:43:43 PM
  • *Djokovic 4-4 del Potro:
    Djokovic pulls off a beautiful volley to level 30-30, but he hasn't quite found his range in games that he's receiving as he hits two unforced errors to give del Potro the game. More like a gave of chess than tennis at the moment, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it?
    7/5/2013 12:48:24 PM
  • Djokovic 5-4 del Potro*:
    He isn't holding up on his own serve though, as Djokovic hits an ace on his second-serve that made del Potro appear to be standing in quick sand. The Serb holds serve though del Potro showed a bit more resistance, and he'll now have to serve to stay in the set.
    7/5/2013 12:51:26 PM
  • *Djokovic 5-5 del Potro:
    Djokovic has decided the cap wasn't working, and he chooses to go without it. He fights back to 30-30, but then hits into the net with a sloppy forehand. That's 12 unforced errors in this set so far from the Serb. Del Potro goes for it down the line, and it's a beauty to hold serve. Good play from the Argie so far.
    7/5/2013 12:57:19 PM
  • Djokovic 6-5 del Potro*:
    The crowd burst into enthusiastic applause for the first time as they think a del Potro forehand, sublime as it looks, finds the line. But it's called out a challenge proves it's just wide, much to del Potro's dismay. He then tries a through-the-legs return, but it goes long and Djokovic holds. Del Potro has to hold serve again to take the first set to a tiebreak.
    7/5/2013 1:02:29 PM
  • *Djokovic 7-5 del Potro:
    Another ace from del Potro, and he has Djokovic struggling to return, but what a return it is as it just creeps in down the line. Suddenly it's 30-30 and the pressure is on the Argentine as he hits into the net. Another shot goes long and Djokovic has a set-point, and he TAKES THE FIRST SET when del Potro hits wide right, despite a desperation challenge. That's the first set that del Potro has dropped all tournament.
    7/5/2013 1:07:18 PM
  • Djokovic appears to be in about third gear here, and we know he's capable of a lot more. Del Potro shoul;d have held serve in that final game, but Djokovic's ability to stay in the point just demoralised del Potro causing him to hit a couple of crucial errors.
    7/5/2013 1:09:17 PM
  • Djokovic 7-5 1-0 del Potro*:
    Djokovic makes light work of the opening game in the second set, and of the last 15 points, the Serb has taken 12 of them. Del Potro desperately needs to hold the next game, just to game a little momentum.
    7/5/2013 1:12:02 PM
  • *Djokovic 7-5 1-1 del Potro:
    That's a loud old racket, as about three line-judges and the Umpire all call out at the same time. Djokovic takes a slight tumble, and del Potro sportingly just takes his time to allow the Serb to compose himself, before an ace sees out the game. Not that sporting then.
    7/5/2013 1:15:44 PM
  • Djokovic 7-5 2-1 del Potro*:
    That's a storming return from del Potro, and it finds Djokovic in no mans land. Djokovic takes a couple of points in quick succession, but then hits into the net, and gets extremely lucky as another deflected shot just finds the line. He apologises quickly, but he won't mind that one bit as he takes the game.
    7/5/2013 1:19:10 PM
  • Sunny Wimbledon: No sign of the roof being closed as the summer finally turns up in London

    7/5/2013 1:22:20 PM
  • *Djokovic 7-5 2-2 del Potro:
    A few more uncharacteristic shots from Djokovic and del Potro takes the game to love. He's done well to fight back after that first set, but is he capable of breaking Djokovic on his serve?
    7/5/2013 1:23:27 PM
  • Djokovic 7-5 3-2 del Potro*:
    The Serb holds serve quite comfortably, finishing it with an overhead volley that bounces high into the stands. He still is nowhere near his best, but right now he doesn't have to be as del Potro isn't get anywhere near breaking the number 1. Meanwhile the doctor comes out to hand del Potro a couple more painkillers, so he's obviously in a little bit of discomfort.
    7/5/2013 1:26:51 PM
  • *Djokovic 7-5 3-3 del Potro:
    Del Potro is just put off when the ball hits the line, and his shot goes long. He then finds the net on his forehand, and Djokovic has two break points. Del Potro comes to the net for the first and it's a lovely volley to bail him out, and he saves the second with an ace to move to deuce. The Argentine then hits long to give Djokovic a third break-point in this game, but a huge mis-hit from the Serb sees him hold on again. Fourth break-point after a delicate volley, but he can't convert again! And del Potro eventually holds serve. Worrying signs for the underdog though.
    7/5/2013 1:35:20 PM
  • Djokovic's fall earlier in the set

    7/5/2013 1:36:44 PM
  • Djokovic 7-5 3-4 del Potro*:
    Brilliant from del Potro! He first finds the line when all hope looks lost, and on the next point he sprints to the net and hits past Djokovic. The crowd erupt, del Potro is pumped, and he has three break-points. But he only needs one! Del Potro breaks Djokovic to go ahead in the second set!
    7/5/2013 1:39:20 PM
  • *Djokovic 7-5 3-5 del Potro:
    Del Potro is on the gas here, having won 10 points in a row. Djokovic finally wins one, and de Potro looks unhappy that the shot isn't called out. It's got to him, and he double-faults to let Djokovic back to deuce after bein 40-0 up. A wild shot that land about 10-feet wide hands the Serb the advantage for a break-point, but del Potro saves it, and he holds what could be a crucial game. It's now Djokovic to serve to stay in the set.
    7/5/2013 1:46:37 PM
  • A few del Potro fans out there it seems...

    7/5/2013 1:47:45 PM
  • Djokovic 7-5 4-5 del Potro*:
    Djokovic rattles though the game to love to make sure that if del Potro is going the level the sets, he will have to hold serve for it.
    7/5/2013 1:48:41 PM
  • *Djokovic 7-5 4-6 del Potro:
    Beautiful from del Potro, as he charges to the net before disguising a lovely dink over. Three set-points, but again he just needs one as Djokovic cannot return his serve, and del potro wins the second set!
    7/5/2013 1:51:31 PM
  • You have to feel that the game is better for del Potro winning that set and leveling the score. It should draw some better play from Djokovic, who looked a little frustrated through the end of that set. It's anyone's game now, but del Potro looks to be running on his energy reserves despite drawing level.
    7/5/2013 1:53:56 PM
  • Djokovic 7-5 4-6 1-0 del Potro*:
    That'll be a relief for Djokovic to get an early game away, and he just upped the pace a little bit in that game. He'll want an early break just to reassert his authority on the game, so it's an important service game coming up for del Potro.
    7/5/2013 1:57:18 PM
  • *Djokovic 7-5 4-6 1-1 del Potro:
    As predicted, Djokovic is going for it in this game, and a del Potro error moves the score to 15-30. But and unforced error from Djokovic is followed by an unreturned serve, and del Potro holds the game much to the annoyance of the Serbian. 
    7/5/2013 2:00:02 PM
  • Djokovic 7-5 4-6 2-1 del Potro*:
    Djokovic holds serve as he is quick to 40-0, but del Potro again challenged him to get back to 40-30 before just missing. It's far from simple for the world number one, and he'll be a little concerned with the momentum behind the Argentinian at the moment.
    7/5/2013 2:04:25 PM
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