Wimbledon semi-finals: Jannik Sinner v Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz v Daniil Medvedev – live | Wimbledon 2023

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Key events

Real talk: bagels do not, in my opinion, make for any kind of decent sandwich. No give, hard to arrange a decent filling to bread ratio, and just not that tasty. Challah is far, far better in every aspect, and the extensive, decades-long research I’ve undertaken in this important area tells me that the best in London can be found at Daniels – or, indeed Daniel’s, depending on where you look – in Temple Fortune.

I’m not sure whether to thank or blame Oli Goldman for bringing this monstrosity to my attention. I guess you might argue that anything is improved by its insertion between two slices of bread, but you might also contact The Hague.

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a strawberries and cream bagel advertised in London
Photograph: Oli Goldman

It’s minging in London today, so I’m almost certain these matches will take place with the roof on. I doubt it’ll make much difference to Djokovic, but Sinner will probably be pleased as indoors tends to favour the harder hitter, and against the greatest, you need every advantage you can get.

Preamble

Hello and welcome to Wimbledon 2023 – day 12! Our women’s final is set and now it’s time for the men.

We begin with the defending champion, playing his 12th semi-final at the All England Club – he’s won nine – a venue at which he’s not been beaten since 2017. And it’s hard to see that changing here, given his earth-shattering ability, spectacular form, and sense of mission. He is not on course for a calendar-year Grand Slam – rather it seems almost inevitable.

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However, there’s always a however. Jannik Sinner comes from the third generation of players bested by Novak Djokovic, but unlike most, he knows he can beat him – not because he has, but because he nearly did, losing from two sets to love up in last year’s quarter-finals. Sinner can easily rationalise that he’s a much better player now, more settled in his game, more at home in these surroundings and better able to negotiate the big moments – plus he can hit anyone, and I mean anyone, off the court. He’ll need to play better than ever before, but of all the men on the tour bar Carlos Alcaraz, he has the game and coldness most suited to ruining Djokovic’s day.

Talking of Alcaraz, he has again been brilliant through this tournament, his explosive forehand not just the most thrilling shot in the game but one of the greatest sights in all sport. But Daniil Medvedev is an opponent who’s seen it all, gradually growing into the fortnight with a serve big enough to trouble anyone and a tactic of standing beyond the baseline that might just neutralise his opponent’s power.

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Of course, that opponent is not underfurnished in the guile department, but this is only his third major semi and in his last one, just a month ago, he succumbed to cramp. So, though Alcaraz has unshakeable confidence that he’s good enough to win this, now, he doesn’t know for sure, and Medvedev will be doing all he can to make him live that uncertainty. This is going to be good!

Play: 1.30pm BST

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