Novak Djokovic is pleased to see technology being embraced at the World Cup, despite watching Serbia lose in controversial circumstances against Switzerland on Friday night.
Djokovic ended his final drought by reaching his first title match for a year with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win against Jeremy Chardy at Queen’s Club on Saturday.
But the former world No 1 admitted he “wasn’t in a great mood” on the eve of his semi-final after watching Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, so impressive on loan at Fulham last season, dragged to the ground after he was caught in a tangle with Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schar during their 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Swiss.
“Well, it is what it is. I wasn’t in a great mood last night, but I thought they played well for first part of the game. After that, it was all Switzerland. Things could have been different if we had a penalty there. I don’t know why the referee didn’t decide to review it on the technology,” Djokovic told a press conference.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion has been impressed overall with the way the World Cup has embraced VAR and believes it has been a success.
“Overall, I think technology has been used pretty well so far,” said the 31-year-old Serb. “I mean, maybe there were situations like this, like the one last night, where the referee should have decided to at least see it, but it’s in their hands. Sometimes they can’t really see every situation, so I understand that they have to kind of follow, in a way, the flow of the game and choose when to review it, choose when not.
“I thought there were some big decisions in the World Cup that were made, changed because of technology. I think that’s something that was expected already more than 10 years ago in football, and I don’t know why they waited for so long, but it’s refreshing to see it.”
Djokovic has looked back to his best this week but will face his toughest test yet on Sunday when he comes up against beaten 2017 finalist and top seed Marin Cilic.
Djokovic said: “It feels great, first one since Eastbourne. So it’s been a year. It is a special moment for me. Obviously I have been hoping to get here and working hard for it.
“So now that I get a chance to fight for a trophy in one of the biggest tournaments on the grass court, grass court season, it means a lot to me.
“I’m really pleased with the way I have played throughout the whole week.”
Djokovic knows it will not be easy against a man he believes is playing his best-ever tennis.
“It’s quite different playing him on grass,” he added. “We have played in Wimbledon, but he’s just a different player, I think.
“In last couple of years he’s been in the form of his life and reaching his highest ranking in a career. And finals of Wimbledon, finals of Australian Open.
“You know, he’s probably been playing the best that he’s ever played. Grass court suits him very well. He just has a big game overall.”