Sun, Aug 19, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Del Potro, Djokovic reach semis

AP, MASON, Ohio

Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro won their Western & Southern Open quarter-finals in straight sets on Friday, setting up a reprise of their bronze medal match at the Olympics. Del Potro won that one.

“He won that match,” Djokovic said. “It happens. You lose, you win, but the most important thing is to try to move on and become even better and even stronger from those experiences. And try to win.”

Del Potro has been nursing a sore left wrist that he will have examined before the US Open, which he won in 2009. He beat France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals.

The Argentine missed most of the 2010 season while recovering from surgery on his right wrist. The doctor who performed that surgery will look at the other one following the Cincinnati tournament.

“The good thing: I’m not getting worse, so I can play,” he said. “But anyway, I want to wait [for] what the doctor says because I have experience on my other wrist.”

Djokovic reached a Masters semi-final for the second straight week by knocking off Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-2. He won the Rogers Cup in Toronto last Sunday.

The Serb was fresh on Friday, having spent only a half-hour on court the previous day. Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko had to quit after losing the first set 6-0 on Thursday night because of a sore shoulder that interfered with his serve.

“It was my best match so far here in this tournament,” the Serb No. 2 said. “Came in the right -moment, really.”

Top-ranked Roger Federer beat Mardy Fish 6-3, 7-6 (4) in an evening match to reach the semi-finals. He is to play Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Milos Raonic 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the afternoon.

Federer skipped the Rogers Cup, taking a week off the tour after playing the Olympics. He has been sharp on the hard courts this week, playing what he called “high-quality tennis.”

“I played really well tonight,” said Federer, who never faced a break point. “Mardy was able to lift his game in the second set.”

On the women’s side, Serena Williams suffered a surprise defeat in her quarter-final, while big sister Venus Williams progressed to her first semi-final of the year.

Serena Williams had her 19-match streak ended by Germany’s Angelique Kerber, a 6-4, 6-4 defeat that marked the first time she had even lost a set since her title at Wimbledon.

The third-longest winning streak of her career did not end quietly. She flung her racket at the ground, picked it up and slammed it on the court again as the second set slipped away.

“I probably need a break,” she said.

While Serena Williams fumed over missed shots, older sister Venus Williams beat Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4.

Serena Williams came into Friday’s match with a 64-4 record in the US hard-court season over the past two years. Against Kerber, her game fell apart.

“She’s played so many matches since Wimbledon,” Venus Williams said, as her sister struggled on the court. “I don’t think anyone has played as many matches and played as successfully as her.”

“Some rest is in order for her,” she said.

For Venus Williams, winning a tough three-setter against former US Open champion Stosur was an indication she is learning to manage an immune system disorder that leaves her tired.

“For me and everything that’s gone on in my life, it’s a huge achievement and I want to take it further,” she said.

Her semi-final opponent will be China’s Li Na, who breezed through two matches; one left hanging by the rain that curtailed play late on Thursday.

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