Djokovic storms into semis

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Published on Jul 31, 2016 11:51 AM IST
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ByAgencies

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.

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