Wimbledon: A-list appeal to semis

The world's three highest ranked players and a fellow Top 10 star serve up a scorching line-up in the final four.

Novak Djokovic / Quarts de finale Wimbledon 2023©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

It doesn't get much better than this.

An all-time great is once again vying for another slice of history, add into the mix the current world No.1, a former world No.1 and an Italian who has spearheaded the 'Next Gen'.

Here is a rundown of the last four standing in the men's draw at SW19.

Jannik Sinner (No.8) vs Novak Djokovic (No.2)

Last July this was a rock n' roll quarter-final at The All England Club.

The Italian led two sets to love before a gladiatorial Djokovic comeback, en route his seventh Wimbledon title. Can Sinner gain revenge? Will Djokovic defiantly roar on again?

Since their Wimbledon clash Jannik Sinner believes he's stepped up and Novak Djokovic agrees.

"He is improving, no doubt, He's been serving better. On grass, obviously makes a difference. He's a very complete player," stated the 23-time Grand Slam champion.

"Now first time in semis of Wimbledon. I'm looking forward to that challenge. I'm sure that he's going to be very, very motivated to win. On the other hand, I am, too. Let's see what happens."

The numbers are pretty daunting for Sinner. Djokovic hasn't lost on Centre Court since the 2013 final, the Serbian is bidding to become the first player in history to reach 35 major finals to surpass the 34 of Chris Evert.

However, only three men have pushed the defending champion to a fifth set during Djokovic's 33-match winning streak at Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal (2018), Roger Federer (2019) and Sinner.

"It means a lot to me. Obviously, there is a lot of work behind this. Very happy that I can play my first semi-final here in this special place, a special surface," said world No.8 Sinner, breaking new ground in Grand Slam play this fortnight.

"For sure physically I have improved. I'm much stronger. I can stay on court for many hours without suffering.

"Also mentally you're going in a slightly different mental side on court knowing you are also Top-10 player.

"I think also game-wise or tennis-wise I feel better. If I have to play the slice, I can play now without thinking… I can go to the net knowing that I have good volleys. I have some good things now in my game, and hopefully I can use it in the right way."

So with his enhanced all-court artillery, it's back to Sinner's task of bringing down the reigning champion.

"First of all, you have to go up two sets to love," quipped the 21-year-old. "It's going to be a completely different match than last year. He knows me better as I know him better also. It's going to be also a little bit tactical.

"In the other way, it is also a little bit mental. If you play against Novak, it's always tough to play here, especially on Grand Slams.

"But I'm happy. I will fight for every ball. I will enjoy the moment, but knowing that I can go hard, trying to beat him."

Fans worldwide would welcome another five-set ride from this Wimbledon rematch.

Jannik Sinner & Novak Djokovic / Wimbledon 2022©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Carlos Alcaraz (No.1) vs Daniil Medvedev (No.3)

Next onto Centre Court will step world No.1 Carlos Alcaraz and No.3 Daniil Medvedev.

They faced off at Wimbledon 2021 in the second round, Medvedev dismissing the then-ranked No.75 Alcaraz in straight sets.

It's a huge understatement, but a lot has changed since then. They have both won the US Open, they have both topped the rankings. This season they have accumulated a tour-leading five titles each.

The hot shots should be pinging on Friday, it should be some show.

"A dream for me to be able to play semi-final here in Wimbledon. It's really amazing feeling right now. I'm going to enjoy this moment," claimed the top seed, in just his third Wimbledon campaign.

"I can't believe that I'm in this position right now in just a short period. It's something crazy for me."

Alcaraz, who defeated the 27-year-old with relative ease 6-3, 6-2 in March's Indian Wells final, gave his perspective on facing the mercurial Medvedev.

"Well, he's really tall. He's playing great here on grass. He has a great, great year as well. I lost the first match we played here on grass. So I have to learn about it," suggested the 20-year-old.

"He's really complete player. I'm going to say, I think Rublev said a few times, he's an octopus. He catches every ball. It is amazing. He's an amazing athlete. I think a mix of everything. He does almost everything well.

"But going to enjoy the semi-final. I think I'm playing great, a lot of confidence right now. So it's going to be a really good match I think."

Carlos Alcaraz & Daniil Medvedev / Wimbledon 2021©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Just like his 2023 discovery of clay court prowess, Medvedev has found his feet and rhythm on the grass too. His hunger and drive for grass court success were on full display on Wednesday as he reeled in Chris Eubanks from two sets to one down.

"Before the tournament, I was not feeling well with my tennis. Starting from the second round, it was only getting better and better," said the 2021 US Open champion, heaping praise on the evolution of Alcaraz.

"It's interesting to play someone like Carlos. He is amazing, amazing player. What he continues to do is just unbelievable. He doesn't stop.

"When he was 17, he was much less mature and younger, which is normal, he was missing. Everyone saw that he's amazing, but everyone was wondering is he going to find the way to miss less producing the same power. And he did quite fast. That's what's pretty amazing.

"We see if you give him one easy shot, you can be in trouble. Even with, let's say, in my opinion, with Novak or Andy (Murray), even Rafa (Nadal), you kind of feel like you can have a chance to get this shot, but the thing is they're going to have 20 more. With Carlos, maybe you're not going to get this one. It's one shot sometimes is brutal. That's what I will have to try to deal with.

"But I played a lot of great players in my career. I managed to win many times. So I'm going to try to do my best. If I show my best, I'll have my chances."

The mutual respect is there. Saying that, Daniil is the ultimate disrupter and will relish ripping up the script of the top two, Alcaraz versus Djokovic, becoming the final headliner.

Daniil Medvedev / Quarts de finale Wimbledon 2023©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT