Djokovic sets bar higher in search of Wimbledon glory

Fri Jul 4, 2014 4:14pm EDT
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By Clare Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - Top seed Novak Djokovic has tackled innocence and now faces experience at Wimbledon after beating young pretender Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the final against seven-times champion Roger Federer.

The Serb was in self-critical mood on Friday after he allowed Dimitrov, playing his first grand slam semi-final, to push him to four tense sets on Centre Court.

"I was frustrated because I, again, allowed my opponent to come back into the match ... I was a set and a break up and, again, made some unforced errors and gave my opponent a hope that he could win.

"That's something that I definitely cannot allow myself in the final against Roger. They have a similar game, so it was good to play a longer match and to understand the way I need to prepare for Roger."

It was the third time during the tournament that Djokovic, who came through 6-4 3-6 7-6(2) 7-6(7) on Friday, had been taken to four sets.

"I have been going through some tough matches during this tournament," he said. "I'm going to try to use that experience in a positive way and encourage myself to get a title."

Also playing on the 27-year-old Serb's mind is the fact that he has only one title to show for his four most recent appearances in major finals.

"Losing three out of my past four grand slam finals, it cannot be satisfying," he said. "I should have won a few of the matches I lost in finals over the past couple of years."   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return during his men's singles semi-final tennis match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 4, 2014.        REUTERS/Toby Melville