Djokovic, a five-time Wimbledon champion who is still battling for the Grand Slam this season, defeated Marton Fucsovics on Wednesday 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to underline his status as a strong favourite. The other semi-finalists have never come this far at Wimbledon. A Canadian southpaw with a live arm and a flashy match, Shapovalov won the most riveting match of the quarterfinals, beating No. 25 Karen Khachanov 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4. Berretini, an Italian of great strength, defeated Shapovalov’s compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3.
But the big surprise was brought by Hurkacz, a good-natured Pole who is based at Saddlebrook Academy in Wesley Chapel, Florida, and has an American coach, Craig Boynton. Both had to recover from contracting Covid-19 this spring after Hurkacz won the Miami Open in April.
“It hit me hard,” Boynton said. “But for Hubie, it was just enough for a wobble.”
Hurkacz didn’t miss any tournaments, but he went into a slump before arriving at Wimbledon, losing six consecutive matches, one of which was to Dominic Stricker, a teenager from Switzerland taking his first steps on tour.
Hurkacz defeated Switzerland’s most famous citizen on Wednesday. Federer, who finished sixth at Wimbledon, has long been Hurkacz’s tennis idol, and in their only previous singles match, Federer defeated him 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, in 2019.
But a Wimbledon quarter-final is a much bigger opportunity, and to his credit Hurkacz handled the moment with controlled power and poise.