Djokovic reaches semi-finals
NEW YORK—Locked in a taut, thrill-a-minute second set, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro headed to a tie-breaker and produced a 20-stroke masterpiece of a point befitting a pair of past U.S. Open champions.
More than a dozen shots in, defending champ Djokovic drew del Potro forward with a drop shot, then tossed up a lob.
Djokovic slammed an overhead. Del Potro somehow kept the ball in play. Djokovic laced a drop shot. Again, del Potro got there, trying another lob.
It landed long.
A point from a two-set lead, Djokovic threw his head back, roared “Come on!” and pumped his arms. Del Potro leaned his elbows atop the net, hunched over, and rested his head on his arms.
Close and compelling as their quarter-final was, it might as well have been over right then and there.
Djokovic’s down-the-line backhand winner seconds later ended the tie-breaker and gave him a commanding lead on the way to a 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over del Potro last night that put the Serb in his 10th-consecutive Grand Slam semi-final.
“We played some incredible rallies and incredible points,” the second-seeded Djokovic said.
“It’s always entertaining, always so much fun, playing in these night sessions,” he added.
Djokovic will face fourth-seeded David Ferrer tomorrow, with a spot in Sunday’s final at stake.
Ferrer advanced to his fourth career major semi-final by using his own version of leg-churning, ball-chasing tennis to outlast eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) in four hours, 31 minutes.
Olympic champ Andy Murray and 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych—who eliminated 17-time major champion Roger Federer—earned their semi-final berths Wednesday.