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Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Tennis: Djokovic rolls into Miami semi-finals

Reuters , Thursday 31 Mar 2016
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns the ball to Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, at the Miami Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Djokovic defeated Berdych 6-3, 6-3. (AP)
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World number one Novak Djokovic rolled into the Miami Open semi-finals with a 6-3 6-3 romp over Tomas Berdych on Wednesday as he continued his pursuit of a fifth title in six years on Key Biscayne.

Djokovic did not face the difficulty that he had in his fourth round match, when he was forced to fend off 14-of-15 break points, while he also attacked Berdych's second serve to advance to a clash with Belgium's David Goffin after 99 minutes.

Goffin beat France's Gilles Simon 3-6 6-2 6-1 in the day's other quarter-final.

Djokovic's triumph over Berdych continued a trend of domination with the Serb clocking up his 10th consecutive victory over the Czech. "Obviously it does have a certain effect," Djokovic told reporters of the lopsided record. "Maybe (it) factors in the mental side coming into the match."

Berdych was coming off a marathon win against Richard Gasquet on Tuesday and did not have enough left to challenge Djokovic. He won just six of his 23 second service points and was broken four times.

The match began with Berdych nearly breaking Djokovic's opening service game and then successfully stealing the third game but he quickly lost momentum en route to committing 45 unforced errors.

Djokovic improved to 26-1 this year with his only defeat coming in February, when he was forced to retire against Spain's Feliciano Lopez in Dubai due to an eye infection.

Injuries seem to be the only force capable of stopping the Serb at the moment and although Djokovic called a medial timeout for a back ailment in the middle of the second set, he quickly shook it off to win three of the last four games.

He has yet to drop a set in Miami, despite his issues with Austria's Dominic Thiem in the fourth round.

"If I may say, I do feel better this year than I had felt last year at the very same stage of the season," he said. "That definitely satisfies me, and I'm hoping I can continue on and keep the same trajectory."

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