Novak Djokovic suffered the same fate as Rafael Nadal at the Madrid Tennis Masters. A day after Spanish favorite Nadal was ousted by Fernando Verdasco, Djokovic lost to his own countryman Janko Tipsarevic 7-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals Friday.
Like Nadal, Djokovic grumbled all week of the controversial slick blue clay and today the low-to-the-ground Tipsarevic took advantage punishing the World No. 1 with accurate groundstrokes that caught Novak off balance.
“I’ve never won a Masters Series event. It would be something new,” said Tipsarevic. “Beating the world number one should give me enough confidence to think that I can, especially a defending champion from last year.”
After the match Djokovic maintained his stance from Thursday saying he would not return next year unless changes were made to the surface.
”I want to forget this week as soon as possible and move on to the real clay courts,” Djokovic said. ”Here you can’t predict the ball bounce or movement.They can do whatever they want, but I won’t be here next year if this clay stays.”
Following his stunning exit Thursday, Nadal was already back in Mallorca where he posted on Facebook that we went fishing Friday. “A beautiful day to go fishing in Mallorca!!”
Federer, who survived a tough test in his opener against rising Milos Raonic, was in control scoring a 13th straight win over Spaniard David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4.
“I’m always pleased beating a local hero in their own country, it’s never an easy thing to do,” said Federer who is the only Top 6 player to reach the semifinals. “I’m extremely pleased to be in the semifinals because it’s really been a tough draw for me.”
The Swiss who will return to the No. 2 ranking by winning the title has now won six straight sets on the blue clay.
The earlier semifinal will pit big men Juan Martin Del Potro against Tomas Berdych. Del Potro ran his clay streak to 10 (22-0 in sets) after easily beating Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-4.
Tomas Berdych had his way with Nadal-conqueror and Madrid native Verdasco 6-1, 6-2. The Czech has lost a total of five games in his last two matches.
“I feel great,” said Berdych. “I’m in another semifinal, second in a row. To beat Fernando made me feel great. It is always tough to beat Fernando, even though the score looks quite easy. It’s not easy to beat a Top 20 player and he played great yesterday.”
Del Potro, though, has won three of four with Berdych including their last three all in straight sets.
“I’m expecting a really tough match,” Berdych said. “To play Juan Martin is always tough, he’s a great guy and he knows how to win the Grand Slams. He’s definitely back after his injury. So far this year, I have already lost to him and it would be nice to get him back now. I will try to do my best, to play my game, to be aggressive.”
The women’s semifinals feature Serena Williams, who pasted Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 Friday, against surprise semifinalist Lucie Hredecka of the Czech Republic. The 105th-ranked Hradecka stunned US Open champion Sam Stosur behind 19 aces.
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka meets the steady Agnieszka Radwanska for the sixth time already this year, all won by the Belarussian.
“We play in almost every tournament now,” Azarenka said. “I’ve played her five times this year, but every match is different and I never look back on any of these matches. She’s a very tough opponent whenever we play and I have a lot of respect for her game. She has been showing incredible tennis this year.”
MANOLO SANTANA start 10:45 am
 V Azarenka (BLR) vs  A Radwanska (POL) – WTA
[Q] L Hradecka (CZE) vs  S Williams (USA) – WTA
Not Before 3:30 PM
 J Del Potro (ARG) vs  T Berdych (CZE) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
 J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs  R Federer (SUI) – ATP
 S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) vs E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA-DOUBLES FINAL
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