The world number one Novak Djokovic has revealed that he was plagued not only by a hamstring problem in his quarterfinal match, but also by breathing difficulties. Despite these significant setbacks, he battled through against the tireless David Ferrer to book a place in the semi-finals against fourth seed Andy Murray.

The Serbian looked uncomfortable at times on court, and it occasionally seemed to affect his concentration, but he insists that he will be fully fit in time for the match with Murray.

“I have no concerns of recovering for the next match,” said Novak. “I found it very difficult after a long time to breathe because I felt the whole day my nose was closed a little bit. I just wasn’t able to get enough oxygen.”

This didn’t stop him winning in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 against the Spaniard, whatever problems Djokovic faced on the day. He also paid tribute to his opponent and must be pleased that he managed to find such an impressive level despite his injury worries. “I needed more time, which I didn’t have – but in these conditions, at this stage of the tournament, when you’re playing someone like David, your physical strength and endurance come into question,” said the world number one.

Djokovic is also aware that he will need to be at his best against Murray and has spotted that Andy has looked both fully fit and in very good form, having thus far had a fairly easy run to the semis.

“Andy is playing great. He has showed he is in great shape and he has Ivan Lendl on his side,” commented Djokovic. “You can feel he is physically fit and eager to win his first Grand Slam.”

Murray seems to be benefiting from the guidance of his new coach Lendl, and Novak might have to adapt his game against the more aggressive style Andy seems to be adopting.

Ferrer will be left to rue a missed opportunity – though he can take solace from the fact that he still has a great chance of winning a Major this year – the latest Wimbledon tennis betting makes him one of the favourites to win the tournament on English grass.