In nearly a mirror-image of his quarterfinal match against David Ferrer, Novak Djokovic put away Juan Monaco 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) in the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open on Friday night.
It looked bad for Monaco from the start, when Djokovic broke his first serve of the match. It only got worse from there in the first set, as Djokovic broke Monaco on all three services and held three times in order to put up a bagel.
Monaco looked absolutely overmatched and outclassed, with Djokovic dominating like the World No. 1 that player he is.
Similar to Ferrer the night before, Djokovic’s opponent ramped up his game in the second set. Monaco managed to hold his first two serves, but was broken by Djokovic to go down 2-3 in the set.
Both men held in their next service games, but Djokovic stayed up a serve to go to 3-5 when Monaco failed to capitalize on a triple-break point.
Monaco held again, putting the set at 4-5, and found himself needing to break Djokovic’s next serve or lose the match.
After being unable to win any of the three triple-break points for the second consecutive time, he managed to finally convert after Djokovic gave him a second chance to break with a double-fault.
Despite a break point opportunity for Djokovic on Monaco’s next serve, both players held to force a tiebreaker.
This was Djokovic’s second second-set tiebreaker in as many days, and both of them ended in similar manners. The players held serve until the eighth point, at which point Djokovic took control of the tiebreaker.
He converted his second match point, winning in straight sets.
While the first set was an absolute clinic, Djokovic helped Monaco out a lot in the second by hitting 13 unforced errors.
That kind of play could haunt him in the final, where he’ll play No. 4 Andy Murray.