Australian Open: Novak Djokovic beats Tomas Berdych to reach semi-finals
Last Updated: 22/01/13 12:56pm
Novak Djokovic: Had things a lot easier than he did against Stanislas Wawrinka
Novak Djokovic booked his place in the semi-finals of the Australian Open after securing a 6-1 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory over Tomas Berdych.
The top seed, who is chasing a third straight title in Melbourne, was outplayed in the second set but otherwise had things well under control.
Djokovic completed the victory in 2 hours and 31 minutes to set up a last-four clash with David Ferrer, who edged past fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro earlier in the day.
Djokovic came through a marathon five-setter against Stanislas Wawrinka in the previous round but showed no signs of fatigue early on against former Wimbledon finalist Berdych.
The Serb made a perfect start, breaking his opponent's serve three times and dropping just one point on his own as he wrapped up the first set in under half an hour
Berdych hit back at the start of the second set, the Czech player gaining an early break and going on to dictate the majority of the rallies.
He encountered a major wobble when serving for the set but saved four break points, two with clean winners down the line, to level the contest.
Berdych's intensity ebbed away at the start of the third set, however, as Djokovic reeled off five straight games before Berdych belatedly put a game on the board to avoid being on the receiving end of a 'bagel'.
Djokovic struck the decisive blow at the start of the fourth set by breaking in the third game and even though Berdych upped the intensity towards the end, it was too late to turn things around.
The win, Djokovic's 10th in a row against Berdych, sees the World No 1 reach his 11th straight Grand Slam semi-final.
"I felt good enough to go another five hours, but I definitely wasn't thinking about it," Djokovic said after the match.
"I tried to get the work done as fast and efficient as possible. I was very happy with the way I started the match.
"I was very aggressive out there, going for my shots, which wasn't the case against Wawrinka. So it's a good improvement and very encouraging for next match."