Djokovic into semis after another opponent retires

Wed Sep 7, 2016 12:13am EDT
 
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic's strange U.S. Open took another bizarre turn as he advanced to the semi-finals on Tuesday when Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired at the start of the third set, trailing 6-3 6-2.

Tsonga took a medical timeout during the changeover at 5-2 of the second set and had the area below his left knee taped.

World number one Djokovic held serve to love to close out the set and the Frenchman walked off, giving the Serbian passage into the last four for a 10th consecutive time.

It has been an unusual tournament for Djokovic who has played only two full matches. He was gifted a walkover in the second round and a retirement after six games in the third before Tsonga.

"I'm in the semi-finals, so that's what matters for me the most," Djokovic told reporters after 83 minutes in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"I know Jo for a long time, we grew up playing in the junior circuit as well. He's a fighter, he's somebody who loves the big stage. This is something I'm sure he didn't wish for."

The first five games progressed on serve to offer promise of a big-hitting battle.

But Tsonga wobbled in the sixth game, committing three double faults to lose serve, the first of three successive breaks that left the Serb with a 5-3 lead.   Continued...

 
Sep 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a volley against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France (not pictured) on day nine of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports