Third seed Djokovic advances to US Open semi-finals

Updated: 09 September 2010 16:07 IST

Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic advanced to the US Open semi-finals on Wednesday, defeating French 17th seed Gael Monfils 7-6 (7/2), 6-1, 6-2, in windy condit

Third seed Djokovic advances to US Open semi-finals

New York :

Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic advanced to the US Open semi-finals on Wednesday, defeating French 17th seed Gael Monfils 7-6 (7/2), 6-1, 6-2, in windy conditions at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Djokovic will face the winner of a later quarter-final between Swiss second seed Roger Federer and Swedish fifth seed Robin Soderling on Saturday for a berth in Sunday's final.

Djokovic, whose only Grand Slam title came at the 2008 Australian Open, has won five of six meetings with Soderling but is only 5-10 against Federer, including losses in the 2007 US Open final and 2008 and 2009 US Open semis.

Both players battled swirling winds that hindered play, but Djokovic handled the conditions well and recovered from going down an early break to dominate the final sets.

"The first set was one of the turning points," Djokovic said. "He had a break advantage and I managed to come back. I was focused when I needed to be. These are the worst conditions so far. I'm fortunate to be in the semi-finals.

"I have two days. I will try to use them the best I can to recover and get ready to play another match."

Djokovic joined Federer, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe as the only men to reach the US Open semi-finals four years in a row since the Open Era began in 1968.

Monfils, whose best Grand Slam showing was a 2008 French Open semi-final run, failed in his bid to become only the second Frenchman in the Open Era to reach the US Open semi-finals, the first being 1993 US Open runner-up Cedric Pioline.

No Frenchman has won the US crown since Henri Cochet in 1928.

Djokovic, now 5-0 against Monfils, netted a backhand to surrender a break in the third game of the match, but the Frenchman went wide with a forehand in the eighth game and they battled into a tie-breaker.

Djokovic dominated the decider, seizing 3-0 and 6-1 leads before a Monfils forehand beyond the baseline surrendered the set.

The Serb star broke again to open the second set and fought off a pair of break chances for Monfils to hold, then broke at love, the last point coming on a forehand winner, to seize command on his way to dominating the set.

After Monfils leaped in the air and blasted ball into the far wall, Djokovic hit a forehand winner to break for a 3-1 lead in the third set and broke again to end the match.

Topics : Tennis
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