Djokovic beats Berdych to reach semis
Melbourne, Jan 22: Novak Djokovic bounced back from a marathon five-setter just 48 hours earlier as he skated into the Australian Open semifinals with a comfortable win over Tomas Berdych on Tuesday.
The Serbian world number one, chasing a hat-trick of Australian crowns, showed no ill-effects of his torrid five-hour dogfight with Stanislas Wawrinka as he beat the Czech fifth seed, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in 2hr 31min.
Djokovic now faces a semifinal on Thursday against Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer, who beat countryman Nicolas Almagro in five sets earlier Tuesday.
Most interest centred on how Djokovic would recover after his epic fourth-round match with Wawrinka, but he dispelled fears by easily claiming the opening set for the loss of one game in 29 minutes.
Berdych broke the Serb in the opening game and went on to level the match by taking the second set, but it was all Djokovic in the closing two sets.
Djokovic finished with six breaks of the strong Berdych service and hit 47 winners with just 25 unforced errors, while the Czech conceded 43 errors.
“It was a great performance. I was hoping to have a shorter match, whoever won tonight, as long as it didn’t go over five hours,” he joked.
“It was always going to be tough against Tomas. He’s an established top-10 player for the last five or six years and he has a big game, big serve. If he’s on he can win against anybody.
“I was aware of his qualities and I came out and played my best tennis and I’m really happy with my performance.”
Djokovic revealed that he didn’t get to sleep until 5:00 am after his last marathon night match and he had accelerated his recovery by taking ice baths.
“It takes a lot of time after a match like that, it’s so physically exhausting and demanding along with mentally and emotionally, so you try to do everything that night to recover,” he said.
“We did a great job because tonight I felt ready and fit.”
It was Djokovic’s 12th win over Berdych in 13 meetings with the Czech’s only win coming on grass in the semi-finals of 2010 Wimbledon.
The victory clinched Djokovic’s 11th consecutive Grand Slam semifinal and he is 9-5 in matches against Ferrer. AFP
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST
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