Djokovic hails from Serbia and it seems the football bug is there in him.
Later in the match, Djokovic was clearly frustrated and complained of "double standards" when Nishikori was not punished for a racket throw. "But I'm still here, so. I'm enjoying my Wimbledon journey", he said after the win.
The Serbian was in fine form as he overcame a spirited Kei Nishikori on Center Court as his comeback from injury continues to go from strength to strength. Early on he was bothered by the glare off the sun, adjusting his serve and then sporting a cap.
"Do you think or not?"
Twice he was hit with violations.
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Yet Djokovic appeared to have more control over the ball than his opponent, and when the set was tied at 3-3, he found another gear.
"Come on, you are joking" was his riposte to umpire Carlos Ramos.
"I just asked him whether he thought honestly that I damaged the court with the racquet that I throw. I mean, anybody who saw the match, I mean, saw that literally I kind of touched the grass", Djokovic said later. "He's got weapons, a big first serve and a big forehand, but I managed to get serves back and make him play another shot", he added.
This wasn't the first instance of Djokovic losing his temper at the All England Club this year.
The momentum had shifted in favour of Nishikori and Djokovic, who had a verbal tug-of-war with the Centre Court crowd in his third round clash against Kyle Edmund earlier in the tournament, was going through the motions on court.
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With South African Kevin Anderson taking nearly 3-1/2 hours to tame French showman Gael Monfils in a four-set thriller in the previous match, Djokovic was left with about two hours of daylight to complete his match against Karen Khachanov if wanted to avoid coming back on Tuesday again.
The crucial turning point came in the third set, with it locked at two games apiece.
The Argentine, who leads the stubborn baseliner 4-3 in previous encounters, levelled on his second break point and it went to 5-5, but Simon broke again to take the first set off Del Potro in the tournament so far. A final break clinched with a forehand victor, and the match was lost. "Nishikori did the same in the fourth set and he didn't get a warning".
Nishikori battled hard throughout.
Some of his returning, particularly during a rally in the fourth game of the first set where he was slipping and sliding across the grass like Jayne Torvill, was simply jaw-dropping.
Marathon man Anderson clinches Wimbledon final spot
Nadal, 32, is back in the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time since 2011 when he finished runner-up to Djokovic. The two went back and forth all the way to 12-all, essentially playing a full sixth and seventh set.
Rafael Nadal awaits in the semifinals after the Spaniard took the scenic route in a five-set marathon against Juan Martin del Potro; a rematch of the 2011 contest where Djokovic first tasted success on the lawns of south west London.