Pain-free route to s-final for Novak

INJURED: Tsonga (in pink) retired due to a knee ailment in the second set, giving Djokovic (in blue), who has played only two full matches in New York,


    Sep 08, 2016

    Pain-free route to s-final for Novak


    NOVAK Djokovic's strange US Open run took another bizarre turn on Tuesday as he advanced to the semi-finals when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired at the start of the third set, trailing 6-3, 6-2.

    The Frenchman took a medical timeout at the changeover at 5-2 of the second set and had the area below his left knee taped.

    World number one Djokovic held serve to love to close out the set and Tsonga walked off, giving the Serb passage into the last four for a 10th consecutive time.

    It has been an unusual tournament for Djokovic who has played only two full matches.

    He was gifted a walkover in the second round and a retirement after six games in the third before Tsonga.

    "I'm in the semi-finals, so that's what matters for me the most," Djokovic told reporters after 83 minutes in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

    "I have known Jo for a long time, we grew up playing in the junior circuit as well.

    "He's a fighter, he's somebody who loves the big stage.

    "This is something I'm sure he didn't wish for."

    The first five games progressed on serve to offer promise of a big-hitting battle.

    But Tsonga wobbled in the sixth game, committing three double faults to lose serve, the first of three successive breaks that left the Serb with a 5-3 lead.

    From that point, Djokovic dominated.

    Tsonga said when he felt pain in his knee, he knew it was over.

    "It's something I had already in the past," he said.

    "When I have my knee, of course, it's already tough to play against one of the best tennis players.

    "But when I don't have my knee, I have no chance to come back from two sets to love."