Brilliant Djokovic through to US Open semis
Novak Djokovic survived a brutal test from former champion Juan Martin del Potro to storm into the semi-finals of the US Open on Thursday and stay on course to defend his title.
The Serbian was at his brilliant best, producing 43 breathtaking winners and scrambling around the Arthur Ashe Stadium center court like a golden retriever, fetching everything the towering Del Potro threw at him.
Djokovic eventually won 6-2, 7-6, 6-4 to go into the last four as the only man yet to drop a set in the tournament but the scoreline did not reflect the intensity of a match where he was pushed to the limit.
Image: Novak Djokovic
Photographs: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images
I'm just happy to get through: Djokovic
"Even though it was a straight-sets win it was much closer than the score indicated," Djokovic said in a courtside interview. "I'm just happy to get through."
Djokovic's next opponent is the Spanish baseliner David Ferrer, who won a four and a half hour slugfest with Djokovic's countryman Janko Tipsarevic.
The men's singles resume on Saturday, with Olympic champion Andy Murray squaring off against Czech Tomas Berdych in the other semi-final.
Despite losing his No. 1 ranking to Roger Federer this year, Djokovic has been the most consistent player in the majors over the past two seasons, reaching the semi-finals in the last 10 Grand Slams.
Image: Novak Djokovic of Serbia
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Ferrer outlasts Tipsarevic to reach semi-finals
Fourth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer edged Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-3, 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 on Thursday in a see-saw slugfest marked by gutsy, gritty play to reach the semi-finals.
Ferrer, who was a break down early in the fifth set, won the pressure packed four-hour, 31-minute quarter-final by claiming the climactic tiebreaker 7-4 when Tipsarevic hit a backhand into the net from deep in the corner.
"I don't have words. I am really happy," said the 30-year-old Ferrer, who went down on his knees in relief after the final point before raising both fists to the cheering Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd. "It was an emotional match. It was a really tough match. Janko is an amazing player. He fights a lot."
The win was another highlight in a career season for Ferrer, who has captured five titles on three different surfaces this year and made at least the quarters of all four Grand Slams.
Image: David Ferrer of Spain celebrates
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images
Both players were treated for injuries
Ferrer denied the eighth seed Tipsarevic his first trip to a Grand Slam semi-final in 35 tries but the 28-year-old Serb had nothing to be ashamed of in a hard-hitting war of attrition in which both players were treated for injuries.
The Spaniard had a right toe injury treated during the third set, and Tipsarevic had his left foot wrapped before the start of the final set, during which he took a sprawling fall on court and summoned a trainer to tape his right thigh.
Ferrer fell behind 3-0 in the fifth set after the Serb seized the upper hand with a second-game service break taken with a backhand volley.
Image: Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia slips on the court
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Fighting spirit of Ferrer was in full display
The fighting spirit of Ferrer was also in full display as the Spaniard used a brilliant top-spin backhand lob to help him break back in the seventh game and put the set back on serve.
Tipsarevic looked to be on the ropes in the ninth game, facing double break point at 15-40 when he felt a twinge in his groin during the point and called for the trainer.
After getting taped up, he used a pair of service winners and an ace to hold serve to lead 5-4.
In the next game, the Serb was within two points of victory after taking a 15-30 lead but Ferrer held him off and the two headed to a tiebreaker.
The decider went on serve until Ferrer took a mini break for 5-3 when Tipsarevic could not return a shot deep to his backhand. Leading 5-4 with the next two serves on his racket, Ferrer held firm and ended the exhausting battle.
Image: Biljana Sesevic shouts as she watches her husband Janko Tipsarevic
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images