Djokovic, Ferrer head to Australian semis

Jan. 22, 2013 at 7:14 AM
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MELBOURNE, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic won in four sets and No. 4-seeded David Ferrer survived in five Tuesday in quarterfinal play at the Australian Open.

Djokovic, the world No. 1, got by fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in Tuesday's final match and earned his 11th consecutive semifinal berth in a major tournament. Earlier Ferrer, coming from two sets and a break down, edged 10th-seeded Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.

Djokovic was coming off a 5-hour, five-set match against Stanislas Wawrinka, but, after Berdych won the first game at 15, won six consecutive games. Berdych made a first-game break -- his only of the match -- stand to take the second set.

But Djokovic won the first five games of the third set and went ahead with a third-game break in the fourth. He lost only one point in his next three service games. Berdych made Djokovic work some in the final game, fighting off two match points before Djokovic finished things.

Almagro had a break in each of the first two sets while winning 78 percent of the points on serve for the two-set lead. Almagro broke Ferrer at love for a 4-3 lead in the third set but Ferrer got his first break of the day in the 10th game and broke at love in the 12th game to take the third set.

Almagro took another lead in the fourth set but Ferrer broke right back. They traded a series of breaks -- each had four breaks in the set -- before the tiebreaker. Ferrer broke a 2-2 fifth-set tie by taking the final four games.

Djokovic takes a 9-5 series advantage over Ferrer into the semifinals. Djokovic was a straight-set winner over Ferrer in last year's Australian Open quarterfinals and beat him in four sets in the U.S. Open semis

No. 2-ranked Roger Federer goes against seventh-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and third-seeded Andy Murray takes on unseeded Jeremy Chardy Wednesday in the other men's quarterfinals.

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