Novak downs Berdych, reaches semi-finals at Paris Masters

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Top-seeded Novak Djokovic overcame strong resistance from Tomas Berdych to reach the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Masters on Friday.

The world no.1 came up against his toughest test this week, but prevailed to clinch a hard-fought 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8) victory in two hours and seven minutes.

With the win, Nole extended his winning streak to 20 matches (28-0 in sets). He now holds a 20-2 ATP Head2Head advantage over the Czech.

Novak saved a set point in the 12th game of the opening set and went on to win a tie-breaker. He also saved a pair of set points in the second-set tie-break before pulling out his 680th career victory.

“I definitely didn’t want to go into the third,” said Djokovic. “Credit to Berdych for playing on a high level, pushing me in the back of the court with the depth of his shots, especially from the forehand side. I thought he did very well. It was decided in tiebreaks, and very few points decided a winner today. Could have gone a different way. He had set point in the first set, as well. In the important moments, I just managed to hang in there, just stay tough. That’s what I’m most proud of.”

Match statistics: aces (6-8), double faults (2-1), winners (19-30), unforced errors (22-38), total points won (91-78).

For a place in the final, Novak will play against no.4 seed Stan Wawrinka on Saturday in their 23rd ATP Head2Head meeting (18-4 career mark). The Swiss battled into the last four with a 7-6 (8), 7-6 (7) triumph over seventh-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

The 28-year-old Serbian star is bidding to win the Paris Masters for the fourth time, having lifted the trophy at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in 2009, 2013 and 2014.

Andy Murray (GBR, 2) takes on 2012 Paris titlist David Ferrer (ESP, 8) in the first semi-final.

Photo: Getty Images

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