Novak Djokovic defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 in the quarterfinal of the US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday.
The Serb international continued his impressive season and advanced to his ninth consecutive US Open semi-final. On a hot and humid day, Djokovic waged an entertaining battle with the left-handed Spaniard, who charges from the net.
Top-seed Djokovic dominated the opening set but was then furious at dropping the second, thumping his racket on his bag at the changeover. The 28-year-old regained control in a lengthy Lopez service game at the start of the third and took a tight fourth in a tiebreak. The contest ran for two hours and 39 minutes.
Lopez served up 14 aces while Djokovic registered nine.
“He’s one of the rare players that actually serves volleys on the first and second serve,” said Djokovic. “I’m just glad to get through in four. Obviously, it was frustrating at times but this is quarter-final of a Grand Slam, this is what you expect.”
Djokovic’s win sets up a Friday semifinal against Croatia’s Marin Cilic, who defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a five set quarterfinal match. Nine-times Grand Slam winner Djokovic expects another challenging match against Cilic, despite owning a 13-0 record against him.
Defending champion Cilic looked to be on course for a straightforward victory after taking the first two sets, but Frenchman Tsonga was rejuvenated after receiving treatment to his knee. He fought back to level against the ninth seed but the 26-year-old Croatian prevailed in three hours and 58 minutes.
The world number nine squandered three match points in the fourth set before allowing 19th seed Tsonga to win a tie-break and take it to a decider. “That was a big mental fight after that fourth set. It got physical towards the end. It was very hot,” said CIlic. IMAGE/ Clive Brunskill/ Getty Images