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Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Saturday, 14 November 2009

Djokovic and Monfils reach final

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic has won four titles so far in 2009

Novak Djokovic extended his run of fine form by hammering Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-3 in the Paris Masters semi-finals.

The Serbian world number three produced a near-flawless display to end Nadal's hopes of a first title since May.

Djokovic, who beat Roger Federer in the Basle final last week, will now face France's Gael Monfils after he battled past Czech Radek Stepanek 6-4 5-7 6-4.

Monfils served for the match in the second set before Stepanek broke twice to level, but battled on to go through.

Djokovic took control of Saturday's semi-final as he earned three break points in the sixth game, firing a backhand winner on the first.

Nadal, struggling on his serve, went on to offer his opponent three set points with an unforced error two games later.

Djokovic hit a return winner on the first, wrapping up the set in 33 minutes.

The 22-year-old stayed on top in the second, winning the first two games to love and breaking Nadal in the second with a forehand winner.

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Four-time French Open champion Nadal, who has yet to win the Paris indoor crown, never looked like challenging Djokovic's superiority.

The Serb sealed victory with a superb forehand on the first match point after just 76 minutes.

"There's not much to say about today's performance, except that it was perfect," said Djokovic.

"It went exactly the way I wanted. Tactically, I did everything I wanted to do before the match. I was very aggressive, took early control of the match and it paid off.

"Today was one of those days when you feel everything is going right, everything is working for you."

Nadal said: "I've never played against Djokovic when he's been at this level before," said Nadal. "He played very well, unbelievable in my opinion.

Gael Monfils at full stretch
Monfils made the most of the home support to battle past Stepanek

"When Novak plays at that level it's very difficult to play him, especially on a hard, fast court."

Monfils had to work much harder to secure a place in his first Masters Series final during a tense match against Stepanek.

The home favourite lost his serve in only the second game but fought back to take the opening set 6-4.

The 15th seed then served for the match at 5-4 in the second but saw Stepanek break, with the Czech then producing some inspired strokes to break again and take the set 7-5.

But Monfils was not to be denied, breaking in the ninth game of the final set and then winning his service game to provoke wild celebrations from the partisan home supporters.

"I was maybe thinking too much about the final and I lost my concentration at times but I never really doubted," said Monfils.

"Playing a final in France is a special occasion. Now I have to live up to it."



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see also
Nadal ends Tsonga's London hopes
13 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Stepanek knocks out tired Murray
12 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Davydenko books World Finals spot
12 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Benneteau stuns Federer in Paris
11 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Murray survives late-night battle
12 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Safin bows out with loss in Paris
11 Nov 09 |  Tennis


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