Djokovic storms into semis
TORONTO: Novak Djokovic said he needed some luck to escape on Friday with a 7-6(6), 6-4 victory over Tomas Berdych for a place in the semifinals of the ATP Toronto Masters.
The top seed with three Canadian titles was tested in a 71-minute opening set but survived before motoring to victory over a top 10 rival he has now beaten in 25 of 27 meetings.
Djokovic needed two hours to reach the final four, winning his 12th straight match against Berdych. The Czech has now lost 17 straight matches against top five opponents.
But it was not all one-way traffic for Djokovic, who struggled to close out a testing tiebreaker.
Berdych showed his desire by winning five consecutive points from 1-3 down in the first-set decider, only to miss on three set points as he finally handed over the set to his opponent.
Djokovic earned a second-set break for 2-1 and rode the margin to his eventual victory in a match which was well below his best level. Djokovic will line up Saturday night against on-form Frenchman Gael Monfils, who dominated Canadian fourth seeded and home favourite Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4 in 72 minutes.
KERBER, HALEP SET UP WIMBLEDON REMATCH
MONTREAL: Romania’s Simona Halep rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Friday to set up a semifinal showdown with Angelique Kerber at the WTA Montreal tournament.
Halep, seeded fifth, will have a chance to avenge her quarterfinal Wimbledon defeat at the hands of Australian Open champion Kerber, who reached the final four in Montreal with an emphatic 6-2, 6-2 victory over teenager Daria Kasatinka.
“It was very tough, I feel really tired now, she played very well and she’s very strong so I knew it was going to be like this,” Halep said.
MIRZA-HINGIS BOW OUT OF ROGERS CUP
MONTREAL: Top seeded pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis crashed out of the Rogers Cup after going down to Christina McHale and Asia Muhammad in the quarterfinals of the women’s doubles event on Saturday.
The Indo-Swiss pair were far from their best as they were beaten 4-6, 3-6 by the unseeded American duo in a match that lasted 70 minutes.
Mirza will partner Rohan Bopanna and Prarthana Thombare in the mixed doubles and women’s doubles respectively in next month’s Rio Olympics.
Mirza and Hingis won their last tournament at the Italian Open in May.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth are among players who will feature in the three-leg Asia Series.
- Kenin lost to ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Svitolina lost to unseeded Russian Veronika Kudermetova 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
- The Irishman was fighting for only the third time in the last five years. Since his rise to superstardom, McGregor’s activity inside the Octagon had started to decline. He fought 8 times in the 2014-2016 period. But in the next 4 years, McGregor had only 3 MMA fights.
- It was the first time that McGregor lost a match by a technical knockout.
- Narsingh Pancham Yadav, returning to action after four years of doping suspension, had a very good start as he defeated young Gaurav Baliyan, the defending champion, without breaking much sweat (10-0), but lost a close bout to Dhankar (4-3) in the next round.