Crazed Djokovic unleashes on umpire in bizarre on-court war
A FUMING Novak Djokovic accused the chair umpire of "double standards" before advancing to his first Wimbledon semi-final in three years with a four-set dispatch of Kei Nishikori.
The three-time champion's emotions boiled over on several occasions in a spicy 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 quarter-final victory over Japan's former US Open finalist. Djokovic had to overcome a series of rows with Carlos Ramos to book a date on Friday with world No.1 Rafael Nadal or Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro.
His troubles began when he copped a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct for bouncing his racquet into the grass behind the baseline on tennis's most famous centre court early in the third set.
He then let rip at Ramos for failing to sanction Nishikori for a similar act of frustration in the fourth set.
"Double standards, my friend. Double standards," the steaming Serb said after approaching Ramos and pointing his finger angrily at the Portuguese judge. "To be honest, I thought it was unnecessary to get a warning. I didn't harm the grass. I knew how I threw the racquet," Djokovic later explained. "(Nishikori) even threw the racquet in the fourth set. (Ramos) said he didn't see it.
"It's not fair, but it's the way it is. In the midst of emotions in a tough match, it happens." Djokovic also appeared to feign throwing the ball at Ramos after being handed a time violation for exceeding the 25-second limit between points. But the 12-times major winner regained his cool sufficiently enough to safely take his place in the semi-finals for the first time since snaring his third title at The All England Club in 2015.
"It's feels great to be in the last four of a slam," Djokovic said. "I've been building the last couple of weeks on the level of tennis that I've played the last couple of month, the last couple of clay-court tournaments and Queen's.
"I felt like it was getting better and better as time went on. I feel like I'm peaking at the right moment."