Iron man Djokovic into Australian Open semis

Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:01am EST
 
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic must have been relieved to have given his weary legs a relatively quick workout on Tuesday with 6-1 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory against Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The world number one, bidding to become the first man to win three successive Australian Open titles since the game went professional, was exhausted from a marathon five-set, five-hour clash against Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday.

Berdych appeared quietly confident. He had entered the tournament with his highest grand slam seeding of five. He had barely been pushed throughout his first four rounds.

His longest match had been two hours, 44 minutes against Kevin Anderson, and that was really only extended by a marathon third set tiebreak that he clinched 15-13.

If ever there was a time for him to claim his second career win over the Serb, and first since their 2010 Wimbledon semi-final, it was at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

Djokovic had different ideas.

He hid any signs of fatigue, bounced on his toes throughout and effortlessly scrambled and slid across court to advance to a semi-final against Spain's David Ferrer.

"Obviously, it's not easy to always be at your 100 percent fitness," Djokovic said following the 2-1/2 hour win.

"But after a five-hour match two days ago, I was quite convinced I could recover for this one.   Continued...

 
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates defeating Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic in their men's singles quarter-final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar