An­other free pass for No­vak in New York

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Nor­mally, it takes wins in five full matches to reach a Grand Slam semi-fi­nal. No­vak Djokovic has made it that far at the US Open by play­ing only two, be­cause three op­po­nents pulled out of the tour­na­ment with in­juries.

Djokovic, the No. 1 seed and de­fend­ing cham­pion, once again needed to put in very lit­tle work, ad­vanc­ing to the fi­nal four at Flush­ing Mead­ows for the 10th con­sec­u­tive year when No. 9 Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga stopped be­cause of an in­jured left knee. The first two sets of their quar­ter-fi­nal went Djokovic’s way, 6-3 6-2. At the en­su­ing changeover, Tsonga was vis­ited by a trainer and had his left leg taped be­low the knee. They played one point to be­gin the third set: Tsonga dou­ble-faulted, then re­tired from the match.

This came after Djokovic’s sec­ond-round op­po­nent, Jiri Ve­sely, with­drew from the tour­na­ment with a sore left fore­arm. And then the man Djokovic was sup­posed to play in the third round, Mikhail Youzhny, quit after six games and only 31 min­utes.

Djokovic said: “I put my­self in a po­si­tion again to be one match away from the fi­nals. As [the] tour­na­ment pro­gresses, I feel like I’m get­ting bet­ter.

“Of course, this Grand Slam is very unique for me: I never ex­pe­ri­enced some­thing like this – to have three re­tire­ments on the road to the semi­fi­nals.”

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