Novak Djokovic had to go deep into the night to stave off elimination beating an in-form Feliciano Lopez in four sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.
The Serb who was playing in his 26th straight Grand Slam quarterfinal, wasn’t at his sharpest but fended off a series on break points to improve his mark to 6-0 against the Spanish lefty and keep his record a perfect 9-0 in the US Open quarterfinal round.
Djokovic will face Marin Cilic on Friday in the semifinal. It’s his 9th US Open semifinal. The World No. 1 is trying to win three Slams in a season for a second time after 2011. And he’s trying to reach the finals at all four Slams for the first time in a season.
Earlier in the day, defending champion Marin Cilic outlasted Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a tough five sets 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4.
Cilic actually held three matchpoints in the fourth, then finally closed it out on five for his fourth straight win over Tsonga.
“I came to the tournament knowing that I can play well here, that I, you know, just need few matches to get into the rhythm, and that’s what happened,” said Cilic. “I was feeling that, you know, I was starting to hit the ball much better. In the previous match with Chardy I finished with the third and fourth set really strongly. I was playing really good tennis. Today, to beat Jo with, you know, a demanding day like this, it’s of course a huge accomplishment.”
Cilic has won 12 matches and after three straight long match will have to luxury of two days off before playing Djokovic on Friday in the semifinals.
“If it’s gonna be him in the semis, definitely toughest match for me, toughest matchup, I would say,” said Cilic. “I haven’t beaten him ever in my career. I had close matches last few years, but I haven’t found the right formula to be able to win a match. We will see. Trying to approach every match as a new one. You know, of course when you look at the statistic that he won that many matches against me, doesn’t, you know, go in my favor, absolutely.
“But when you’re coming to the match it’s always going from zero, so it’s a new match. It’s different stage, and I’m feeling good here on the court.”
After reaching the French Open semifinals, Tsonga was trying to make his first US Open final four. And came into the match winning all 56 service games, but it wasn’t to be.
“He just hit the ball a little bit more properly than me at the right moment, and that was a huge difference at the end, because he just made it. He just made it,” said Tsonga. “Today I just served, I would say, very bad compared to the other day.”
The final two quarterfinals will be contested Wednesday. Stan Wawrinka tries to stop a 4-match losing streak to the man who knocked out Andy Murray, Kevin Anderson.
“It’s going to be a tough match,” Anderson said. “I think especially in the last few years, he’s really put himself up there as one of the main contenders for slams. I really feel he’s playing some of his best tennis. To win two slams in the last year and a half is obviously a testament to that. He knows what it takes. He’s been in that position. It’s my first time, but I feel like I’m hitting the ball very well. I know what to expect going into the match. It’s just about giving myself the best opportunity and obviously trying to execute as best as I can.”
And 5-time champion Roger Federer meets Richard Gasquet for a 17th time. Federer has won 14 and the last six.
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