MIAMI, March 29 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated David Ferrer Thursday to move within one win of his fourth Sony Ericsson Open final appearance in six years.
Djokovic fought off Ferrer 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) and will meet Juan Monaco in the semifinals of the Masters 1000 event.
After winning his first 43 matches of 2011 to storm into the No. 1 spot in the world rankings, Djokovic has had a slightly slower start to the 2012 campaign.
Monaco made it to the semifinals on his 28th birthday with a 6-1, 6-3 blitzing of Mardy Fish.
Djokovic has won all four meetings with Monaco, the most recent coming in the 2010 Masters tournament in Paris. Djokovic has won four of the last five major championships contested and could face Rafael Nadal in the finals of this tourney.
Djokovic survived an epic five-set match against Nadal in the finals of the Australian Open this year.
Nadal will take on Murray in the other semifinal. Murray ended a five-match losing streak to Nadal in their most recent meeting last year in Tokyo.