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Djokovic moves into semi-finals
Guy Hand
22:45 AEST Tue Jan 22 2013

Defending champion Novak Djokovic showed no ill effects of his marathon effort 48 hours earlier as he moved a step closer to a third successive Australian Open title.

Djokovic was at his clinical best at Melbourne Park on Tuesday night, overcoming Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych 6-1 4-6 6-1 6-4 to book a semi-final clash with fourth seed David Ferrer.

The world No.1 had endured a marathon five-setter to see off Stanislas Wawrinka the previous round.

But Djokovic showed he was on his game early in his quarter-final with a break of serve in the third game - one of three in the opening set - as he swept to a one-set advantage.

Berdych broke in the opening game of the second set and struck back, despite squandering a set point and having to save four break points to close out the set on his serve.

However Djokovic, whose first and second serve were deadly throughout, grabbed early service breaks in the third and fourth sets.

It took until his fourth match point, but Djokovic eventually won in two hours and 31 minutes, and importantly at a far more comfortable hour than his early morning finish against Wawrinka.

Djokovic was pleased with how he had been able to once more show his recuperative powers - not getting to sleep until 5am after his match against Wawrinka.

"It was a great performance (against Berdych). I was just hoping not to go over five hours like the other night," Djokovic said.

"It takes a lot of time after a match like that to recover physically, emotionally, mentally."

He now meets Ferrer after the Spaniard survived a nerve-wracking, rollercoaster five-setter to beat countryman Nicolas Almagro 4-6 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 earlier on Tuesday.

"David is one of the most respected guys on tour because he never gives up," Djokovic said.

"He's one of the fittest guys on tour so I'm expecting a long one."


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