Incredibly, Novak Djokovic has played just two full matches of out five en route to his 10th straight semifinal at the US Open. Djokovic’s path, the easiest ever to Grand Slam semifinal in the Open Era, included a walkover courtesy of Jiri Vesely and two retirements from Mikhail Youzhny and last night Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who succumbed to a knee injury after losing the second set.
Djokovic, though, isn’t worried about the lack of match play and says the added time off will help him heal an assortment of injuries.
“In this stage of the season, considering some physical issues I have had in the last month, month and a half, this was the scenario that I needed and I wished for,” Djokovic said. “I got a lot of days off and recovered my body. Right now I’m feeling very close to the peak. That’s the position where I want to be.”
Djokovic clarified he was talking about peak form. Regardless, he’s feeling better than he felt when the tournament began 10 days ago and now he’s just six sets from a 13th career Grand Slam.
“I think one of the most important things for a player is this freshness of the mind, of the body, and just having that right supply of substance in your body and the enduring strength that you need, the speed, the alertness,” he said.
“All these things come with, you know, some time that you have around. Time management, most of all. You know, I’m really looking forward to come out on the court on Friday in semifinals.”
And Djokovic will now have another two days before his Friday semifinal against Gael Monfils.
“He’s one of the few players that I will definitely pay a ticket to watch. He’s very charismatic. Plays with a smile. Enjoys tennis. Enjoys life,” Djokovic said of Monfils.
“He seems more focused at this time of his career,” he added. “Especially on the hard court this year maybe he’s playing the best tennis he ever played. He’s very consistent. He hasn’t dropped a set till semis. That says a lot about the level he’s on. Definitely expecting a tough battle.”
Djokovic, though, has won all 12 meetings with Monfils. But Monfils hasn’t lost a set.
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