Article

Djokovic books Ferrer semi

22 January 2013 13:08

Novak Djokovic set up an Australian Open semi-final against David Ferrer after beating Tomas Berdych in four sets on Tuesday.

Defending champion Djokovic, was on court for over five hours in his win over Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday, looked devastating at times in his 6-1 4-6 6-1 6-4 win over the Czech fifth seed on Rod Laver Arena.

But the two-time defending champion allowed Berdych back into the contest when he lapsed in concentration early in the second set.

Djokovic finished with 47 winners – 13 of which came in the first set and 16 in the fourth – as he set up a semi-final meeting with Spanish fourth seed Ferrer.

While he extended his win-loss record over Berdych to 13-1, the victory also continued two outstanding streaks for the Serbian star.

He has now reached 11 straight grand slam semi-finals, moving one clear of Rod Laver and Ivan Lendl for consecutive last-four appearances, but still well short of Roger Federer's record 23.

He has also recorded 57 straight wins at majors against players outside the top four.

Aiming to become the first man in the Open era to win three straight titles at Melbourne Park, Djokovic will back himself to overcome Ferrer given he has won 11 of their 16 previous meetings.

Earlier, Ferrer fought back from two sets down to defeat Nicolas Almagro 4-6 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in an all-Spanish quarter-final.

Almagro, who was bidding to reach his maiden grand slam semi-final, was on the verge of beating 30-year-old Ferrer for the first time in 13 attempts after taking a two-sets-to-love lead.

He served for the match on three occasions - once in the third set and twice in the fourth - but was unable to close it out as nerves took hold, allowing Ferrer to storm back and claim victory in three hours and 44 minutes in front of a packed Rod Laver Arena crowd.

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