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Three-time champion Djokovic was the first man through to the semi-finals, reaching the last four of a major in more than two years by seeing off Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 on Centre Court.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion then raised his level in the fourth set and finished with a victor into the corner to book his place in Friday's semi-finals where he was joined by a familiar foe as Nadal won through late in the day.

It is Djokovic's first appearance in the semi-finals at the All England Club since 2015 - when he last won the title - and he revealed his motivation is fully back as he chases Grand Slam title No. 13.

But having got his foothold in the second set, Djokovic's nous and show-court experience shone through, making it 13 wins on the bounce for the Serb against Nishikori. Indignation that his desire to close on the grand-slam total of Rafael Nadal and, who knows, even Roger Federer, has been put on hold for so long. "The last couple of games I couldn't really see the ball very clearly, it was getting very dark.so I had to hang in there".

Djokovic's mood was not improved by Ramos choosing not to punish Nishikori for imitating his earlier offence of bashing a racquet into the ground. He broke to 30 and then served out for a dramatic victory. "I like my chances against Nishikori", said Djokovic.

Anderson added that Federer, who won his first Wimbledon title in 2003, is the flawless role model for the sport - and for those players in the chasing pack.

Things got worse between the two later when Djokovic felt Ramos failed to sanction Nishikori for a similar act in the fourth set.

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If Anderson is to shock Federer, who has only lost once before the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 15 years, he will need to call up the heavy artillery which has served him well at the tournament this year.

"I feel like I am peaking at the right moment".

"I have worked very hard to try and get myself in the best possible shape for the biggest event and this is certainly one of the best".

"It gives me confidence that I was able to play good tennis on grass", Nishikori said. "But hopefully I have two more matches to play".

But the second seed stayed alive by taking the fourth set before the gripping drama continued in an electrifying deciding set in which both players were left diving after volleys and slipping over as they chased after blinding winners.

"It motivates me to do extremely well here because I don't want to sit here and explain my loss".