Deadly Djokovic batters Berdych to reach semis
By Nick Mulvenney
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Serbian superman Novak Djokovic remained firmly on course for a third straight Australian Open title on Tuesday after dismantling Tomas Berdych in four sets to set up a last four meeting with Spanish comeback king David Ferrer.
Showing no signs of fatigue from the grinding five-hour duel with Stanislas Wawrinka that ended in the early hours of Monday morning, Djokovic defused the big Czech's big serve 6-1 4-6 6-1 6-4 to progress comfortably to his 11th successive grand slam semi-final.
Maria Sharapova was just as impressive as she continued a ruthless march through the women's draw with a 6-2 6-2 savaging of Ekaterina Makarova, while Li Na ended Agnieszka Radwanska's winning streak to continue her love affair with Melbourne Park.
Ferrer staged what he described as a miraculous comeback from two sets down to beat fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 4-6 4-6 7-5 7-6 6-2 but immediately said he would need something even more spectacular if he was to get to his first grand slam final.
Living up to his reputation as the fittest player on the tour, world number one Djokovic returned with his usual deftness and moved his 6ft 5in (1.96m) opponent around the court.
The 25-year-old whipped through the first set against fifth seed Berdych quicksmart, stalled only a little as he lost the second before racing to victory in two and a half hours, sealing the win with his 10th ace.
"It was a great performance," Djokovic said. "I was hoping to have a shorter match and not go over five hours like the last match.
"It is always going to be tough against Tomas ... but I came out and played my best tennis." Continued...