The last two men standing at the US Open, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, both advanced to Asian finals this weekend.
World No. 1 Nadal had to save two matchpoints to survive a game effort from Serb Viktor Troicki 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(7), in the Tokyo semifinals.
Troickiβs matchpoints came at 6-5 and 7-6 in the final set breaker. He served for the match at 6-5, 30-15 before Nadal broke to force the tiebreak.
“The match was very close, he played well the whole time,” said Nadal who slammed 18 aces and led 5-3 in the third. “The worst part of the match was when I lost my serve serving for the match; I was not happy with how I played the last few games. But the important thing was that I got the win this time, unlike last week in the Bangkok semifinals. Maybe also affected me a bit today.”
Said Troicki, “It is frustrating, even if I won the second round here after being match point down. I still think it was a great match from both of us.”
Nadal will play Frenchman Gael Monfils in the final. Monfils, who beat Andy Roddick on Friday, had little trouble beating Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-3.
Nadal has won six of seven against Monfils losing just once at 2009 Doha.
The final in Beijing features Djokovic against Spaniard David Ferrer. The defending champion Djokovic ran his win-streak during eight after beating John Isner 7-6(1), 6-2.
“I returned and played well on the return games and had a lot of opportunities throughout the whole match,” said Djokovic who broke Isner three times. “[I] used them when I needed to. [I'm] just happy to get through this one.”
Ferrer went the distance to turn away Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Ljubicic had upset Andy Murray a round earlier. Djokovic and Ferrer have split their eight meetings, but Djokovic has won four of five on hardcourts.
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