It’s not pretty, but world No. 1 Novak Djokovic continues to find ways to win at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
On Friday it was with some help from Tomas Berdych, who found a way to lose up, 6-3 in the first-set tiebreak. Berdych lost five straight points and the set. And Djokovic eventually prevailed 7-6(6), 6-4.
“I was very fortunate to get away with the first set,” Djokovic said. “The second set was slightly better…but I’m moving on and hopefully it’s going to get better.”
Berdych falls to 2-25 against Djokovic having lost 12 straight times and 14 straight sets!
Djokovic will next meet Gael Monfils, who upset homecountry favorite Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4.
The 29-year-old Monfils never lost serve and broke the Canadian twice in the match.
“He was doing a lot of good things. He played well. He played smart in the right moments. He was making the shots,” Raonic said. “I’ll look back at this and give it the right amount of perspective and try to take it to the next process, next step forward, to be better next time.”
Djokovic has won all 11 of his career meetings against the Frenchman.
“He’s playing great tennis at the moment,” Djokovic said. “He won Washington. He’s been playing more or less every day for the last couple of weeks. He’s feeling confident on the court.”
Monfils for his part is on a 9-match winning streak after raising the trophy in Washington.
“I think I’m a guy [who's] always pumped up. Any energy, I take it. Even if it’s for me or not for me, I take it,” Monfils said.
In other quarterfinal action Stan Wawrinka rolled over world No. 10 Kevin Anderson 6-1, 6-3.
“I started really well from the first game,” said Wawrinka, who dropped Anderson to 0-7 in Masters-level tournament quarterfinals. “It showed me that I was ready, aggressive, moving really well. It’s one of the best matches I have played this year, I think. I was calm, serving really good and mixing it up a lot. I’m moving well, in general. I think I was reading the game well, good in defence and found a way how to come back and attack.”
Anderson missed 10 weeks earlier this season due to ankle surgery.
The No. 2-seeded Wawrinka in the semifinals will meet the No. 3-seeded Kei Nishikori, who on Friday defeated unseeded Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
After Dimitrov won the second set and went up 1-0 in the third, Nishikori turned it on, winning five games in a row an route to the victory.
“I know I have to be a little bit more aggressive to beat [Wawrinka],” said Nishikori. “I think if I can play good tennis, I think I will have some chance to win. So hopefully I can have a good day tomorrow.”
Wawrinka leads their head-to-head 3-1.
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