Djokovic sails into Paris last four

Thu Jun 2, 2016 10:35am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic moved a step closer to a maiden French Open title on Thursday, sweeping aside Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets to reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros for the eighth time.

The world number one, whose half of the draw got easier after nine-times champion Rafael Nadal pulled out injured last week, will next take on Dominic Thiem after the Austrian tyro downed Belgian David Goffin in four sets.

Serbian Djokovic breezed through the opening set, overcame a slight glitch in the second and came back stronger after a brief rain interruption to seal a straightforward 6-3 7-5 6-3 win.

He ended the contest on his second match point when Berdych returned into the net.

"It's a grand slam quarter-final so it's always a difficult match. It's hard to dictate the play in these conditions, it makes it tough tactically," Djokovic said courtside.

"I played my best tennis at the right moment, I'm happy about that. I'm happy to come back here on center court every day."

Djokovic's fourth-round match against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, in which he lost a set, ended on Wednesday after rain washed out Monday's play and delayed the start of the tie until Tuesday.

The 11-times grand slam champion, who will be playing for the third day in a row on Friday when he faces Thiem for a place in the final, was barely bothered by either the conditions or his opponent.   Continued...

Tennis - French Open Men's Singles Quarterfinal match - Roland Garros - Novak Djokovic of Serbia vs Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic - Paris, France - 02/06/16. Djokovic returns a shot. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen