Another free pass for Novak in New York
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.”