Djokovic stays on tar­get af­ter Young scare

Serb reaches East­bourne semi-fi­nals

The National - News - Sport - - TENNIS -

No­vak Djokovic con­tin­ued his Wimbledon prepa­ra­tions with a 6-2, 7-6 vic­tory over Amer­i­can Don­ald Young yesterday to reach the semi-fi­nals of the Ae­gon In­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment at East­bourne. The three-time Wimbledon cham­pion sur­vived two set points, one with Young serv­ing at 5-4 and the other on his own serve in the tiebreak at 5-6, be­fore clinch­ing the win with his fourth match point af­ter the Amer­i­can dou­ble-faulted.

The Ser­bian world No 4 will now play Rus­sian Daniil Medvedev to­day for a place in the fi­nal of the south coast grass tour­na­ment.

Medvedev de­feated Amer­i­can Steve John­son 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 yesterday.

Top seed Djokovic – the high­est ranked male player to com­pete at East­bourne since 1999 – was the first through to the semis af­ter an hour and 35 min­utes on court.

“I en­joyed it, es­pe­cially in the sec­ond set,” he said. “The first set went my way and I played well. I felt good on the court and had some break point op­por­tu­ni­ties early in the sec­ond set. He served for the set, had a set point and then had set point in the tie-break.

“Ob­vi­ously, it could have gone eas­ily his way. But it hasn’t, and I’m just glad the way I kind of held my com­po­sure, my nerves.

“This is the kind of match sit­u­a­tion that I was look­ing for­ward to hav­ing, and I’m glad it hap­pened to­day and I man­aged to over­come that.” Sec­ond seed Gael Mon­fils beat Bri­tish wild card Cameron Nor­rie 6-3, 6-2 to reach the quar­ter-fi­nals in a match that re­sumed af­ter be­ing halted by rain on Wed­nes­day with the score at 6-3, 2-1. Up next for the French­man will be Aus­tralian Bernard Tomic, who up­set Ger­man sixth seed Mis­cha Zverev 6-3, 6-2 in 51 min­utes.

Sev­enth seed Richard Gas­quet saved three break points on his way to de­feat­ing South African Kevin An­der­son 6-4, 6-4 to set up a clash with third-seeded Amer­i­can John Is­ner.

On the women’s side, Bri­tain’s Jo­hanna Konta beat French Open cham­pion Je­lena Ostapenko 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

“I think the score­line shows that it was a tough bat­tle and there was very lit­tle in it,” Konta said. “Against a player like her, who has such a big game, some­times it’s dif­fi­cult to ac­cept that you haven’t got much say in some points.”

Konta, set to be­come the first Bri­tish woman ranked in the world’s top 10 at Wimbledon since 1984, had to rally from a break down in the de­cid­ing set to end her op­po­nent’s eight­match win­ning streak.

She then won the fi­nal four games and saved a break point in the tense fi­nal one, in which Ostapenko also saved two match points, be­fore clinch­ing vic­tory in two hours and 18 min­utes.

World No 1 An­gelique Ker­ber over­came Spain’s Lara Ar­ru­abar­rena 6-2, 6-1, Ro­ma­nian Si­mona Halep beat Bul­gar­ian Tsve­tana Pironkova 6-7, 7-6, 7-5.

Ob­vi­ously, it could have gone eas­ily his way. But it hasn’t, and I’m just glad the way I kind of held my com­po­sure No­vak Djokovic On his 6-2, 7-6 win over Don­ald Young at East­bourne

Glyn Kirk / AFP

World No 4 No­vak Djokovic sur­vived two set points to de­feat Don­ald Young of the United States 6-2, 7-6 yesterday.

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