Fantastic Djokovic storms past Soderling, sets up Murray semi-final clash!

Another Friday, another victory for the seventh semi-finals in 2011!

World no.2 Novak Djokovic outlasted fifth-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden in straight sets 6-3, 6-0 in 76 minutes to power into the final four at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Djokovic and Soderling were last up on Centrale Stadium. Many were waiting to see if Soderling could be the one to stop the Serbian no.1.

Djokovic was broken to love in the opening game of the match, but he broke back immediately to level at 1-all. Soderling earned two break points in the seventh game, but Novak held for 4-3. It turned out to be the crucial moment in the match. The Swede started making unforced errors, dropped his serve and Nole closed the first set 6-3.

Another extraordinary display from Novak and another bagel. The no.2 seed made a triple break to clinch the second set and match 6-0 finishing with an ace.

“I was aware of the importance of the match and the quality of my opponent,” Djokovic said. “He’s a big server, a very big hitter, so I really needed to stay focused the whole time.”

Match statistics: aces (4-2), double faults (1-1), winners (22-13), unforced errors (14-26).

Djokovic capitalised on 5 of his 9 break point opportunities, while Soderling converted only 1 of his 4 chances.

Novak will play against no.4 seed Brit Andy Murray for a place in the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event finals. Murray beat world no.28 German Florian Mayer 1-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Nole and Andy have played eighth times, seven days younger Djokovic leads 5-3. The 23-year-old Belgrade native won their last match at the Australian Open 2011, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, when he captured his second Grand Slam title.

“He’s a great opponent,” Nole praised Murray. “We know each other very well. We played last time in the Australian Open final. Obviously he’s motivated to win, so it’s going to be a tough one.”

Novak has the longest match winning streak to begin the season (35-0) since John McEnroe went 42-0 in 1984. Overall he has the sixth-longest match winning streak since complete records began being kept in 1975.

World no.1 Spaniard Rafael Nadal takes on Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the other semi-final match on Saturday.

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