Masterful Djokovic cruises into French Open semi-finals


Imperious Novak Djokovic marched ominously into the semi-finals of the French Open with a straight-sets victory over a disgruntled Tomas Berdych on Thursday.

The world number one had only been beaten twice in 25 matches against Berdych before their last-eight encounter on Court Philippe Chatrier and it was an all-too familiar story for the Czech, who was beaten 6-3 7-5 6-3.

Djokovic and Berdych were playing for the third day in a row due to the rain in Paris and the top seed will be in action again on Friday when he faces Dominic Thiem or David Goffin at the semi-final stage.

Eleven-time grand-slam champion will take some stopping in his quest to complete a career Grand Slam, while an irked Berdych complained that the tournament had become "one big circus" when play was briefly suspended in the third set due to rain.

Seventh seed Berdych wound up his powerful serve impressively early in the first set, but Djokovic bided his time and earned the first break to lead 4-3 by unleashing a couple of rasping returns before putting away a forehand winner.

The Serb wrapped up the first set with another break and carried on where he left off by breaking to love for a 2-0 lead in the second set when his flustered opponent double-faulted after being caught out by a couple of deft drop shots.

Berdych broke back to trail 4-3 when Djokovic drilled a forehand long following a pair of errant forehands, but the favourite went two sets up with a break to love after Berdych put a forehand wide.

Djokovic failed to hold in the first game of the second set, but broke straight back and an irritated Berdych complained to the umpire after play was suspended at 3-3 as he felt either they should play on or the court be covered.

Berdych still appeared to be seething when the match resumed soon after and he was put out of his misery when he missed a backhand to go a break down at 5-3 and Djokovic served out the match.



Djokovic (1) bt Berdych (7) 6-3 7-5 6-3



Djokovic - 30/22

Berdych - 24/28



Djokovic - 0

Berdych - 4



Djokovic - 6/8

Berdych - 2/6



Djokovic - 60

Berdych - 57



Djokovic - 71/66

Berdych - 67/37



Djokovic - 93

Berdych - 69