Djokovic, Cilic Square-up In Semis | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Djokovic, Cilic Square-up In Semis

Posted: Sep 10, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Top seed Novak Djokovic will play defending champion Marin Cilic in the US Open semi-finals on Friday.

Djokovic, 28, beat Spanish 18th seed Feliciano Lopez 6-1 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) in a sweltering New York night session.

The Serb unleashed an angry tirade towards his player box after the second set but finally prevailed at 01:00 local time.

Croatia’s Cilic withstood a Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fightback to win 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 6-4.

On a sweltering day at Flushing Meadows, Djokovic and Lopez were still suffering in 27C and 66% humidity as midnight came and went.

Djokovic had dominated the opening set but was then furious at dropping the second, thumping his racquet on his bag at the changeover.

The world number one regained control in a lengthy Lopez service game at the start of the third and took a tight fourth in a tie-break after two hours and 39 minutes.

“He’s one of the rare players that actually serves volleys on the first and second serve,” Djokovic said.

“I’m just glad to get through in four. Obviously, it was frustrating at times but this is quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, this is what you expect.”

Cilic, 26, 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, only for Cilic, himself with a strapped-up right ankle, to win in three hours 58 minutes.

The world number nine, who claimed his first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows last year, had squandered three match points in the fourth set before allowing 19th seed Tsonga to win a tie-break and take it to a decider.