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Federer, Djokovic, Bautista Agut reach Wimbledon semifinals

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WIMBLEDON, England (AP) As Roger Federer made his way off Centre Court after moving into the Wimbledon semifinals for the 13th time, a spectator reminded him of yet another milestone.

A 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Kei Nishikori on Wednesday gave Federer his 100th match win at the All England Club, the first man to reach that total at any Grand Slam tournament.

“The fan told me, `Congratulations, Roger, on your 100th,” Federer said. “I’m like, `Oh, yeah, that’s right.”‘

Just another mark among many for the guy who is trying to add to his totals of eight Wimbledon championships and 20 Grand Slam trophies, both already unprecedented among men.

On Friday, Federer will face either his long-time rival, Rafael Nadal, or unseeded Sam Querrey of the United States, who were playing their quarterfinal on No. 1 Court.

If Nadal won, he and Federer would meet at Wimbledon for the first time since their memorable 2008 final, which Nadal won 9-7 in the fifth set as dusk descended.

The other semifinal will be No. 1 Novak Djokovic against No. 26 Roberto Bautista Agut.

Djokovic used a 10-game run to transform what was shaping up as an even, entertaining quarterfinal into a lopsided romp.

“I felt,” Djokovic would say later, “like I managed to dismantle his game.”

That’s a pretty accurate description of what happened. Down an early break, the defending champion grabbed control midway through the opening set and never let go, overwhelming the 21st-seeded David Goffin 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 to reach his ninth semifinal at the All England Club.

“He was everywhere,” Goffin said.

Bautista Agut, a first-time Grand Slam semifinalist, is supposed to be on the island of Ibiza right now, having a bachelor party with a half-dozen pals ahead of his November wedding. Instead, he will play on after beating No. 26 Guido Pella of Argentina 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

“Well,” the 31-year-old Bautista Agut said, “it feels better to be here in London.”

Djokovic is seeking his fifth Wimbledon championship and 17th Grand Slam trophy overall.

The eighth-seeded Nishikori jumped out to an early edge by breaking Federer in the very first game, enough to give him that set.

“The beginning,” Federer said, “brutal.”

But Federer quickly began living his best life in the second, conjuring up whatever he wanted, exactly when he wanted it.

His approach shots were beyond reproach. His volleys vibrant. His returns were timed so well, and struck so violently, that one knocked the net-rushing Nishikori’s racket plum out of his hands.

And Federer’s serve? Sure, he faced break points, but he never allowed 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Nishikori to convert another.

Goffin started well enough against Djokovic on an afternoon that was humid and sunny, with the temperature in the mid-70s (mid-20s C).

Hoping to reach his first major semifinal, Goffin claimed three of the first four points that lasted at least 10 strokes. He won the pair’s most recent encounter, on clay in 2017, and this looked a bit like it was being contested on that slower surface, too.

Goffin was able to hang in there at the baseline and his on-the-run passing shots were dialed in. He nosed ahead after 33 minutes by breaking to go up 4-3, then jogged to the sideline with a raised fist.

Until then, Goffin was playing crisply and cleanly. He hadn’t faced so much as one break point against Djokovic, generally considered the top returner in the game.

“He was dictating the play from the baseline,” Djokovic said afterward. “Most of the rallies went his way.”

But that’s when everything changed.

Djokovic did to Goffin exactly what he does to so many men on so many surfaces and at so many tournaments: He takes their best shot, deals with it and then wears them down.

“I sincerely hope that my opponent feels like he’s got to work twice as (hard as) against any other opponent to win a point,” Djokovic said.

Serving at 30-love in the very next game, Goffin double-faulted. Then he flubbed a forehand. After limiting himself to three unforced errors through the match’s initial 49 points, the Belgian made two in a row. The next point was an odd one involving a late line call and a challenge by Goffin, who lost it and faced his first break point.

Djokovic couldn’t convert that one, but moments later, Goffin sent a forehand wide to set up a second. This time, Djokovic ended a 20-stroke exchange with a drop volley winner. And soon enough, he was on his way, sliding or doing the splits along the baseline to get to balls few others would, bending his body this way and that to repeatedly force Goffin to hit an extra shot.

It’s a dispiriting brand of tennis, and it was too much for Goffin. He would wind up going about 50 minutes until he managed to win another game.

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

More AP tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Adeline Gray breaks U.S. record with fifth world wrestling title

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U.S. wrestlers have won more than 60 gold medals in the history of the world championships. Adeline Gray is at the top of that list.

Gray earned her American record-breaking fifth world title in Kazakhstan on Thursday, taking the 76kg final 4-2 over Japanese Hiroe Suzuki.

She broke her tie of four world titles with Olympic gold medalists John Smith and Jordan Burroughs and Tricia Saunders, who earned her crowns in the 1990s before women’s wrestling was added to the Olympics in 2004. Burroughs can match Gray later this week.

“I’ve got to mark that off my bucket list,” said Gray, who earned her seventh medal Thursday, six weeks after right hand surgery. “Kristie Davis was a nine-time world medalist, and I’m still chasing that.”

Gray, 28, earned her fourth straight world title and continued an impressive rebound. She had a two-year win streak before being upset in the Rio Olympic quarterfinals, missing the chance to become the first U.S. Olympic women’s wrestling champion.

Though Gray keeps a pyramid with goals — including five-time world champion, Olympic champion and to “be exciting” — she purposely grounds herself with acronyms and conversations with friends to lessen the hype.

“I had a lot of those thoughts before 2016, and I think that let it creep up to me a little bit in a negative way,” Gray said in June. “Just the fact that some people were saying, like, hey, you’ve had a great career. It’s awesome what you’ve done. You’re already written in the history books kind of thing.”

Gray revealed six months after that Rio disappointment that she wrestled in Brazil with a shoulder injury. She underwent surgeries on that shoulder and to repair a torn meniscus in her knee in January 2017 and went 11 months between matches, missing that year’s world championships.

During that break, she married U.S. Army Capt. Damaris Sanders. She scaled 14,000-foot mountains. Gray wasn’t sure about returning. She thought about trying to have a baby instead. Even when she did get back on the mat, she considered phasing out if she started losing matches.

“It took a little bit of figuring out what I wanted and figuring out why I wanted to come back,” she said Wednesday, after reaching the final. “Really, the reason I’ve been sticking around is because coach Terry [Steiner]‘s been whispering in my ear, making sure I know that I’m good enough to be winning at this level. And there’s something more than that. There’s this huge wave of women’s sports, and I’m part of that. It’s something special.”

Earlier Thursday, American Tamyra Mensah-Stock reached Friday’s 68kg final, one year after taking bronze in the division. Mensah-Stock routed Japan’s Olympic champion Sara Dosho 10-1 in the quarterfinals.

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MORE: World Wrestling Championships TV Schedule

Genzebe Dibaba, 1500m world record holder, to miss world championships

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Genzebe Dibaba, the 1500m world record holder, will miss the world track and field championships that start next week due to a right foot injury, according to her agency.

The Ethiopian Dibaba lowered the 1500m world record to 3:50.07 in 2015, then won the world title a month later. Kenyan Faith Kipyegon relegated her to silver at the Rio Olympics. Dibaba was last in the 12-woman final at the 2017 Worlds, then withdrew from the 5000m at that meet, citing illness.

Dibaba’s absence further opens the door for Americans Shelby Houlihan (second-fastest in the world last year) and Jenny Simpson, the Olympic bronze medalist and 2017 World silver medalist.

Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan is fastest in the world this year and broke the mile world record on July 12. Hassan has range from 800m through 10,000m, and it’s not guaranteed she will contest the 1500m in Doha starting with the first round Oct. 2.

The event is already lacking Caster Semenya, the two-time Olympic 800m champion who took bronze in her world 1500m debut in 2017. Semenya is excluded from races from 400m through the mile under the IAAF’s new rule capping testosterone in those events.

MORE: U.S. roster for track and field worlds

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