Novak Djokovic had a little trouble in his quarterfinals match against Mikhail Youzhny, but he did enough to advance to the U.S. Open semifinals thanks to a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 win.
The Serbian star will face Stanislas Wawrinka after Andy Murray was upset in straight sets earlier in the day.
Djokovic was coming off a dominant victory in Round 4 when he defeated Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-0, 6-0, and he had not dropped a set in the tournament. This solid play continued against Youzhny, as he got off to a great start and held on for a win.
In the first set, the No. 1 player in the world showed off his resiliency by winning points when he needed it the most, as noted by U.S. Open tennis:
He was then able to build up a 2-0 advantage after winning the second set with ease.
Unfortunately, Djokovic struggled with his control in the third set. He had only six winners to go with 16 unforced errors. Youzhny also did better with his returns, winning 10-of-22 return points in the set.
He was able to win the set, which brought on some nice praise from ESPN's Hannah Storm:
However, this only seemed to anger Djokovic, who took over the match in the fourth set. He dominated the rallies to earn a bagel in just 28 minutes of action.
Overall, the favorite was solid with his serve while winning 66 percent of his total service points, but his inconsistency allowed his opponent to stay in the match. Fortunately for him, he was able to showcase his overall talent in the win.
Youzhny was seeking his third career appearance in the U.S. Open semifinals, although he was eliminated in the first round each of the past two years. He has also struggled on hard courts this season, only posting an 8-9 record this season on the surface.
Still, the Russian has had an impressive run in the tournament, defeating big names like Tommy Haas and Lleyton Hewitt in previous rounds.
Of course, he was no match for Djokovic, who is trying to reach the final of this tournament for the fourth year in a row. He won the title in 2011, but he also lost in recent years to Murray and Rafael Nadal.
With Murray getting knocked out in the quarterfinals, the top seed has an even better chance of getting his second career title and seventh Grand Slam. Of course, he will still have to deal with Wawrinka and then the winner of Richard Gasquet and Nadal.
If he plans on winning two more matches, he will need a much cleaner effort than he showed on Thursday.
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