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Page last updated at 22:29 GMT, Wednesday, 8 September 2010 23:29 UK

Djokovic beats below-par Monfils to reach US Open semis

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 Serb will next play second seed Roger Federer, who beat fifth seed Robin Soderling 6-4 6-4 7-5 in Wednesday's night match

"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.

The thing is that with the wind you can really find my weakness - for me, it's really hard to play with wind

Gael Monfils

"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.

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


Monfils failed to hold a single service game in the second set, which was dominated as much by the wind as the players, and Djokovic's experience told as he sealed it in 46 minutes.

He continued to dominate in the third, despite the occasional burst of carefree hitting from Monfils who appeared to know the game was up after losing 17 of 21 games at one stage.

"The thing is that with the wind you can really find my weakness - for me, it's really hard to play with wind," said Monfils.

"I'm very physical and speedy. Sometimes for me it was very frustrating as I cannot use any skill. I can just try to push the ball and deal with it. But I think at that time the talent for play in the wind, I don't have that yet."

Djokovic will now hope to improve on an already fine record in New York that has seen his hopes ended by Federer for the last three years.

"He's a great champion, of course, a great player," said Djokovic. "But you never know what's going to happen. I don't want to think about those losses in the last three years, which were really, really close in all those matches.

"So in this moment I'm feeling quite comfortable in the court, and hopefully I can continue on."

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see also
Brilliant Federer beats Soderling
09 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Wozniacki battles into semi-final
09 Sep 10 |  Tennis
US Open day 10 as it happened
08 Sep 10 |  Tennis
US Open day 10 photos
08 Sep 10 |  Tennis
US Open quotes - day 10
09 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis

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