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Novak Djokovic hangs on to reach U.S. Open semifinals

September 05, 2013|By Diane Pucin
  • Novak Djokovic celebrates a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 victory over Mikhail Youzhny in a quarterfinal matchup at the U.S. Open.
Novak Djokovic celebrates a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 victory over Mikhail Youzhny… (Clive Brunskill / Getty…)

NEW YORK -- Novak Djokovic found the crowd cheering against him and his shots flying away from him for a set, but the top-seeded man at the U.S. Open recovered from the loss of his first set in the tournament for a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6 6-0 win Thursday over 21st-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia.

Djokovic will face Stanislaw Wawrinka, who eliminated defending U.S. Open champion Andy Murray earlier in the day, in the semifinals Saturday. Second-seeded Rafael Nadal will have eighth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France in the other men's semifinal Saturday.

The final is scheduled for Monday.

After losing the third set, Djokovic jumped ahead 5-0 in the fourth set and by the end, on Youzhny's serve, Djokovic gave himself a match point with a leaping overhead. He earned it with a cross-court forehand, and after all the frustration Djokovic demonstrated in the third set -- kicked rackets, mutterings in Serbo-Croatian, angry looks toward his box -- Djokovic recovered to be smiling and joking at the end.

Djokovic is in his 14th major semifinal in a row. "I've been always trying to play my best tennis in Grand Slams," he said. "I was really enjoying the whole match."

"The conditions are not easy at night," Djokovic said. "Mikhail has a tricky game in the windy conditions. Credit to him for coming back in the third set."

Djokovic said he had a tough hard-court season, losing to both Nadal and John Isner, but feels his game has improved here.

Against Wawrinka, Djokovic said, "It's going to be a very close match, but I feel quite good, quite confident on the courts."


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