US OPEN 2014
Djokovic Reaches 8th Straight US Open Semi-final
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
Top seed Novak Djokovic advanced to an eighth consecutive US Open semi-final after withstanding a withering challenge from longtime rival Andy Murray that ended after 1 a.m. Thursday morning. The dramatic opening two sets on Arthur Ashe stadium featured eight service breaks and lasted 2 hrs., 13 mins. before Djokovic asserted control in the second half of the match to win 7-6(1), 6-7(1) 6-2, 6-4.
Shaking off early losses in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati ahead of the US Open, Djokovic is now two wins away from claiming consecutive Grand Slam titles, following his Wimbledon triumph in July. Should Djokovic, who meets Japan’s Kei Nishikori in Saturday’s semi-finals, go on to claim a second US Open title, he will emerge a red-hot favourite to end the year at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Seeking his first title since Wimbledon 2012 and his 11th win over a World No. 1, Murray was heroic in the first two sets: The Scot rallied from a break down once in the first set and two times in the second set to force tie-breaks. In the second set he swung boldly from the baseline, keeping Djokovic on defence with some of the hardest-hit groundstrokes of his career. Murray is now 0-9 against Djokovic after losing the first set and 8-13 overall.
"I played a poor tie-break in the first set definitely," said Murray. "I was down in the first set and I fought back. I was down in the second set and a break and I fought back. I fought hard. I played some good tennis. But it wasn't enough. I'm obviously disappointed."
Djokovic, who hit 46 winners and broke serve seven times, told ESPN on court, “It was a very physical battle in the opening two and a half sets. I didn’t expect anything less before the match knowing I was facing Andy. The last five times we’ve always gone over three, four hours. I’m very glad to get through to another semi-final.”
Looking ahead to his match-up with Nishikori, the Serb said, “We haven’t played against each other for a while. He’s a very talented player who has been Top 10. He’s very fast all over the court and serves well for his height. I’m expecting a tough one.”
Djokovic became the seventh player to reach 50 US Open match wins.