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Djokovic Wins Clash Of US Open Champs

New York, U.S.A.

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic reached his 10th straight Grand Slam semi-final.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic advanced to his sixth straight semi-final at the US Open on Thursday evening, defeating 2009 titlist Juan Martin del Potro 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-4.

“Even though it was a three-set win, it was much closer than the score indicated,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview with Brad Gilbert. “He is a great player. I was lucky to get out of the second set with a two-set advantage. It’s always entertaining playing in these night sessions. I’m very happy to be in the semi-finals.”

After dropping serve twice in the first set, del Potro rebounded to win the first 10 points of the second set to go up an early break. The seventh-seeded Argentine served for the set at 5-4, but couldn’t close it out. The clash then intensified with del Potro serving at 5-6. The 23 year old staved off three set points, winning a 17-minute game to force a tie-break, only to see the defending champion regain the momentum. Djokovic claimed the 84-minute set to take a two-set lead.

“I had the chance to win that set, but Nole played really well in the important moments,” said del Potro. “Also you need luck to win these kind of matches. He deserved today, and he played much better than me for the rest of the match. He was too much for me.”

The Serbian broke del Potro to begin the third set and went on to defeat the former World No. 4 in three hours and five minutes. Djokovic finished with 43 winners to 28 unforced errors, improving his record against del Potro to a 6-2 mark (2-1 in 2012). He moved into joint second place for the most consecutive Grand Slam semi-final appearances with 10, joining Rod Laver and Ivan Lendl.

Djokovic is bidding to win his sixth major trophy, with his latest Grand Slam triumph coming at the Australian Open this year, following victory over Rafael Nadal in the longest Grand Slam final in history. He also reached his first final at Roland Garros, falling to Nadal and was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon, losing to eventual champion Roger Federer. The 25 year old is seeking his fourth title of the season, having successfully defended his crowns in Melbourne, the Sony Open Tennis in Miami and Rogers Cup in Toronto.

For a place in the Flushing Meadows final, Djokovic will square off against fourth seed David Ferrer. Djokovic holds an 8-5 edge versus the Spaniard, winning quarter-final meetings this year at the Australian Open and Miami. Ferrer’s last victory against Djokovic came in a round robin meeting at the 2011 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

“He's one of the biggest competitors we have in the game,” said Djokovic. “He has been one of the most consistent players on the tour. He plays great on every surface. You need to earn your points against him.”

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