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Djokovic seeks 10th US Open semi-final in row

Novak Djokovic of Serbia / Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Novak Djokovic of Serbia / Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Novak Djokovic targets a 10th successive semi-final appearance at the US Open on Tuesday when he faces longtime rival Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, one of three Frenchmen in the last-eight.

World number one Djokovic, the champion in New York in 2011 and 2015, has hardly broken sweat in the first four rounds.

He needed four sets to beat Jerzy Janowicz in his first match before he enjoyed a walkover in the second, an injury-enforced retirement in the third followed by a brutal dismantling of Briton’s Kyle Edmund in the last-16.

In Tuesday’s other men’s quarter-final, Lucas Pouille, who knocked out 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal in five sets on Sunday, faces French compatriot Gael Monfils.

The women’s quarter-finals also start Tuesday with world number two Angelique Kerber facing last year’s runner-up Roberta Vinci and two-time finalist Caroline Wozniacki up against surprise packet Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia.

Djokovic, looking for his third major of 2016, boasts a remarkable record in New York.

As well as his two titles, the 29-year-old was runner-up in 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013. He was a semi-finalist in 2005, 2006 and 2014.

The Serb also boasts a 15-6 winning record against ninth seed Tsonga, a run stretching back to their first meeting in the 2008 Australian Open final.

“I’m feeling very good. I didn’t have much time on the court overall before the fourth round,” said Djokovic who came into the tournament suffering from a wrist injury while also needing treatment on his upper right arm in the first and fourth rounds.

“Considering I had some struggles before the tournament, I feel great at this moment physically; mentally as well I’m motivated.

“So coming into the second week of a Grand Slam quarter-finals feeling good, it’s exactly where I want to be.”

Monfils beat Pouille in their only meeting — in five sets in the first round of the Australian Open in 2015.

But 22-year-old Pouille is now Grand Slam hardened having made a maiden Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon before stunning Nadal.

Monfils, who turned 30 on September 1, is in his third quarter-final in New York.

In his last appearance at this stage in 2014, he squandered a two sets lead against Roger Federer.

Meanwhile, Australian Open champion Kerber, a semi-finalist at the US Open in 2011, takes on 33-year-old Vinci. They are tied at two wins apiece.

Kerber, who can depose Serena Williams as world number one by the end of the tournament, has yet to drop a set at the tournament.

But she won’t underestimate Vinci, who stunned Serena in the semi-finals last year.

Wozniacki, a former world number one and runner-up in 2009 and 2014, has already put out top ten seeds Svetlana Kuznetsova and Madison Keys on her way to the quarter-finals.

Now ranked 74, the popular Dane faces unlikely quarter-finalist Sevastova who was so depressed about the state of her game back in 2013 that she retired.

Her decision to return has been richly rewarded with a shock victory over French Open champion Garbine Muguruza in the second round.

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Novak DjokovicUS Open


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