World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Stan Wawrinka moved into the semifinals with thrilling wins on Friday at the Masters Paris.
Defending champion and world No. 1 Djokovic won his 20th consecutive match (and 28th straight set) by edging No. 5 seed and former Paris winner Tomas Berdych 7-6(3), 7-6(8). The Czech held set points in both sets but couldn’t convert against the stingy Djokovic.
“I definitely didn’t want to go into the third,” said Djokovic, who did not break serve during the match. “But credit to Berdych for playing on a high level, pushing me in the back of the court with the depth of his shots, especially from the forehand side. I thought he did very well. It was decided in tiebreaks two times, and very few points, really, decided a winner today. Could have gone a different way. He had set point in the first set, as well. In the important moments, I just managed to hang in there, just stay tough. That’s what I’m most proud of.”
According to the ATP, it was the first time in 680 victories that Djokovic’s won a match without breaking serve! Berdych falls to 2-20 against Djokovic.
Djokovic will next meet Wawrinka, who likewise won a squeaker with a 7-6(8), 7-6(7) win over former No. 1 Rafael Nadal in a match that ended past 1am Paris time.
Rafa led with a break in the first set and later held a sitter set point but missed a backhand. He overcame a break down in the second but blew a missed overhead that would have given him 6-2 in the second set breaker.
“We played a high level match,” said Wawrinka who drank coffee to help him late in the first set. “It was a good fight, with long rallies, big points and a lot of intensity. I’m really happy with how I played. I found solutions and was able to fight back.”
Added Nadal, “I had a lot of opportunities, but I didn’t take them. I missed too many set points. In a tight match like that, it’s too much. But I’m happy with how I played, happy with these last few weeks. I’m on the right track.”
Djokovic leads Wawrinka 18-4 but the Swiss scored a massive win beating the World No. 1 in Paris earlier this year in the French Open final. Though Wawrinka will have a short recovery to ready for the semifinal which is scheduled just 16 hours after his Rafa win.
Murray moved into the Masters Paris semifinals for the first time in his career after taming No. 10 Richard Gasquet 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3. His 67th win on the year marks his best-ever yearly campaign.
“I feel like I have been striking the ball well this week,” said Murray. “I think the first two matches obviously were extremely good. I think at periods of today’s match, I also played extremely well.”
The Scot in the semifinals will meet David Ferrer, who weathered the big serving of American John Isner 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-2. Over three sets Isner had less than half the aces of the previous round when he ousted Roger Federer. Isner received treatment in the third set for a stomach issue.
Ferrer won the Masters Paris in 2012, and has lost his last three meetings with Murray.
SATURDAY PARIS SCHEDULE
COURT CENTRAL start 11:45 am
V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs D. Inglot (GBR) / R. Lindstedt (SWE)
 D. Ferrer (ESP) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
 N. Djokovic (SRB) vs  S. Wawrinka (SUI)
[PR] T. Berdych (CZE) / R. Stepanek (CZE) vs  I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
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