US OPEN 2013
Djokovic Sets Wawrinka SF Showdown
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
Djokovic, the 2011 champion, dropped his first set of the tournament but roared back to win the final set in 29 minutes. He won 70 per cent of first serve points in front of a crowd that included prominent businessman Richard Branson and actors Sean Connery and Tommy Lee Jones.
"For some reason, I allowed him to come back into the match, started to push the ball, [was] being more passive and allowing him to step into the court, come to the net," said the right-hander of the momentum change in the third set.
He advances to his 14th straight Grand Slam semi-final, and seventh straight US Open semi-final.
“I’ve been always trying to play my best tennis in the Grand Slams and every Grand Slam offers something different,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview. “The US Open is very special tournament, especially the night session. It’s the biggest stadium we have in sport. The atmosphere is very electric. The crowd gets into it and I was really enjoying the whole match.”
The 21st-seeded Youzhny was attempting to reach his third US Open semi-final, and was seeking to beat a World No. 1 for the first time in 11 attempts.
"I [tried] to be a little bit more aggressive, not like [how] I played against Hewitt... Still, it was not enough to beat Novak today," said the Russian. "I can say I [had] many chances during this match," added Youzhny.
“It’s going to be a very close match for both of us. I think there is really no clear favourite,” said Djokovic. “He showed today why he deserves to be in Top 10 of the world. He won in straight sets against the defending champion and he probably played one of his best tennis that I’ve seen him play on hard courts."
The six-time Grand Slam champion said he is pleased with his performance over the past five matches. "[My] level of confidence is right at the top... because I have been playing most of my matches here very aggressive, very dominantly," said Djokovic. "Even tonight, you know, even though I dropped a set, I feel I was in control of the whole set."
The 26-year-old Serb could fall from the No. 1 place in the Emirates ATP Rankings if he loses his semi-final, and if Rafael Nadal wins the title.
But that's not Djokovic's plan. "I'm extra motivated as the tournament goes on. It's quarter-finals, now it's semi-finals, and I want to win, that's why I'm here."