Dynamic Djokovic marches into last four in Paris

Tue Jun 3, 2014 4:23pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic proved too hot to handle for Canadian outsider Milos Raonic as the Serb qualified for the French Open semi-finals for the sixth time with a clinical 7-5 7-6 (5) 6-4 victory on Tuesday.

The world number two, chasing the only grand slam title to elude him, next meets 18th-seeded Latvian Ernests Gulbis.

Raonic went close against Djokovic on clay in the Rome Masters semi-finals last month, losing 6-7 (5) 7-6 (4) 6-3, but this time the Serb played better.

"It's never smooth against Milos or any server of his calibre," Djokovic told reporters. "It was important to get the first set under my belt. Even though it was a straight-sets win, only a few points here and there decided the winner.

"Against such a player you have to wait for your opportunities and when they're presented to you, you'd better take them."

A couple of double faults in the 11th game put Raonic under pressure and Djokovic took full advantage, grabbing the opening set after unsettling his opponent with a dipping backhand.

The Serb, who now has a 3-0 record against Raonic, then took the second-set tiebreak when his rival missed a backhand.

The Canadian trailed 4-0 in the third set before retrieving one of the two breaks of serve.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning his men's quarter-final match against Milos Raonic of Canada at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 3, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe