Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Djokovic beats below-par Monfils

US Open, Flushing Meadows
Dates: 30 August - 12 September Start time: 1600 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; live on Sky Sports

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic was a finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2007

Novak Djokovic made short work of Gael Monfils to reach the semi-finals of the US Open for the fourth year running.

Third seed Djokovic came through 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 6-2 on another windy day in New York.

Frenchman Monfils, the 17th seed, let a break lead slip in the first set and thereafter Djokovic took total control.

The Serbian will next play either second seed Roger Federer or fifth seed Robin Soderling, who meet later on Wednesday on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"The first set was one of the turning points," said Djokovic, runner-up in 2007.

"He had a break advantage and I managed to come back. I was focused when I needed to be. These are the worst conditions so far. I'm fortunate to be in the semi-finals.


"I have two days. I will try to use them the best I can to recover and get ready to play another match."

Djokovic joins Federer, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe as the only men to reach the US Open semi-finals four years in a row in the Open Era.

Meanwhile Monfils, whose best performance at a Grand Slam was reaching the last four of the 2008 French Open, failed in his bid to become only the second Frenchman in the Open Era to reach the semis at Flushing Meadows, the first being 1993 runner-up Cedric Pioline.

Djokovic, now 5-0 against Monfils, surrendered a break in the third game of the match but the Frenchman went wide with a forehand in the eighth game and the set had to be settled by a tie-break.

Djokovic dominated the decider, seizing 3-0 and 6-1 leads before Monfils put a forehand long to hand his opponent the set.

Djokovic broke again in the first game of the second set and saved a pair of break points before breaking Monfils to love, at which point the Frenchman's resolve appeared to break.

The 2008 Australian Open champion broke Monfils twice more to wrap up the second set in just 46 minutes before breaking Monfils for a 3-1 lead in the third and breaking again to seal the match.

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