Juan Martin Del Potro next up for imperious Novak Djokovic
Serb looks simply unstoppable at Wimbledon as he swats Berdych aside
An imperious Novak Djokovic proved unstoppable and courageous Juan Martin Del Potro indomitable as both claimed straight-sets victories yesterday to set up a Wimbledon semi-final clash.
Top seed Djokovic reeled off his fifth successive three-set victory although his quarter-final against Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych was harder than the 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-3 scoreline suggested.
Untroubled so far as he targets a second Wimbledon title, the clinical Serb had to find his best tennis to subdue Berdych who beat Djokovic in their only previous grasscourt meeting.
"It was a very close match, and that's what I expected," said Djokovic, who lost to Del Potro in an Olympic bronze-medal match at Wimbledon last year. "Tomas is a very powerful player. We went toe-to-toe in the first set."
Del Potro looked down and out after five points against Ferrer when his already-bandaged left knee crumpled as he tumbled while chasing a wide ball behind the baseline.
Grimacing in pain, the eighth seed climbed up from the turf, however, and after treatment and a pain-killing tablet produced a sledgehammer-like performance to beat fourth seed David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).
Such was the venom in his murderous forehand that any injury concerns were put aside as he struck 22 winners on that flank alone, including a screamer on match point.
"It was the same thing as my third-round match," said Del Potro, who first injured his knee on Saturday. "I was very close [to pulling out] because I felt a lot of pain in the beginning of the match, it was exactly the same like I did before. I twisted my knee once again and the doctor gave me some magic pills and I could finish the match."
Del Potro's medical team will work overtime to patch him up for tomorrow's semi.
Djokovic has looked in almost total control so far and even when the dangerous Berdych began to threaten, he found an extra gear to reach his 13th consecutive grand slam semi-final.
"You have to play really on the limit, playing really great to have a chance to beat him," Berdych said. "That was not my case today."