Nole reaches sixth straight semi-final in NYC!

Defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the semi-finals at the US Open for the sixth year in a row on Thursday as he finished strongly to dismiss no.7 seed Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in three hours and six minutes.

Novak held to 15 to take the lead in the match closing out the opening game with an ace. He was moving the Argentine all over the court. Del Potro produced three unforced errors and found himself 0-40 down in the fourth game. He saved one, but Nole took the second chance with a forehand winner and then consolidated the break to increase his lead to 4-1. Most of the long rallies went to the second seed, who was pushing the Argentine behind the baseline. Delpo saved two break/set points in the eighth game, but Djokovic converted his third opportunity and took the first set in 39 minutes.

Del Potro won the first 10 points of the second set to go up an early break. The 2009 champion served for the set at 5-4, but couldn’t close it out. The clash intensified with del Potro serving at 5-6. He fought off three set points, winning a 17-minute game to force a tie-break. Novak claimed the 84-minute set 7-3 to take a two-set lead.

Nole made a break in the opening game of the third set and consolidated it after saving a break point. He sealed the set and match 6-4.

Match statistics: aces (7-8), double faults (2-3), winners (43-25), unforced errors (28-33), total points won (113-94).

“Even though it was a three-set win, it was much closer than the score indicated,” said Novak who reached his 10th successive Grand Slam semi-final. “He is a great player. I was lucky to get out of the second set with a two-set advantage. It’s always entertaining playing in these night sessions. I’m very happy to be in the semi-finals.”

Novak will face world no.5 David Ferrer in Saturday’s semis (about 19:30 CET). The Spaniard beat Janko Tipsarevic in the match of the tournament in 4 hours and 31 minutes.

Djokovic and Ferrer have met 13 times, Nole leads 8-5. He won both encounters in 2012, the Australian Open (6-4, 7-6, 6-1) and Miami Masters (6-2, 7-6) quarter-finals.

“He’s one of the biggest competitors we have in the game,” said Nole. “He has been one of the most consistent players on the tour. He plays great on every surface. You need to earn your points against him.”

The 25-year-old Serbian star is chasing his sixth Grand Slam title. He captured the US Open trophy last year – his third major title of 2011 – with victory over Rafael Nadal.

The other semi-final sees Olympic champion Andy Murray (GBR, 3) take on Tomas Berdych (CZE, 6).

Photos: Getty Images

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