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Published: 08:43 | 7/9/16

Another walkover for Djokovic


Novak Djokovic was handed his third walkover in five matches at the US Open when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was forced to retire from their quart-final match when trailing 6-3 6-2.

After battling through the opening round against Jerzy Janowicz, Djokovic was handed a bye into the third round before Mikhail Youzhny withdrew midway through their third round encounter.

Tsonga had been expected to provide a stern test for the defending champion but a knee injury put paid to his challenge and he walked to the net at the end of the second set to bring the match to an end.

Djokovic came into the tournament with injuries to his left wrist and right elbow but his lack of action in New York has afforded him the opportunity to rest.

"I am not really concerned," Djokovic replied when asked if he was worried about his lack of time on the court.

"Actually, in this stage of the season, considering some physical issues I have had in the last month, month and a half, this was the scenario that I needed and I wished for.

"I got a lot of days off and recovered my body. Right now I'm feeling very close to the peak. That's the position where I want to be. This scenario was ideal at this stage."

Djokovic will face Gael Monfils in the semi-final after the Frenchman defeated compatriot Lucas Pouille 6-4 6-3 6-3.

"I love watching Gael," Djokovic said. "He's one of the few players that I will definitely pay a ticket to watch.

"He's very charismatic. Plays with a smile. Enjoys tennis. Enjoys life. But also he seems more focused at this time of his career.

"Especially on the hard court this year maybe he's playing the best tennis he ever played. I'm definitely expecting a tough battle."

After taking Rafael Nadal to five sets, Pouille looked weary as he battled Monfils and he was made to pay for 44 unforced errors over the course of the three sets.

Monfils did not face a single break point in the match that lasted just over two hours and he was pleased with how he performed against his fellow countryman.

"I'm happy with my performance. I think it is never easy to play quarter-final against a French guy, I think I handled it pretty good mentally and tennistically," he said.

"I have two days to recover to play my first semis here. I'm more than happy."

Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber remains on course to become the new number one after defeating Roberta Vinci to advance to the semi-finals.

Kerber will move to the top spot in the rankings if he equals or betters Serena Williams' performance at Flushing Meadows and the 28-year-old underlined her impressive form with a 7-5 6-0 win in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

They exchanged breaks of serve in the opening set before Vinci had the opportunity to serve it out, only for Kerber to deny her. Facing set point, Vinci was called for a foot fault to hand the opening set to Kerber, who seized the advantage and raced through the second set in 24 minutes.

"I think the key of the match was the first set," Kerber said. "It was really close and tough. It's always difficult to play against Roberta.

"She's a tough opponent with her slice. I was trying to staying in the match and not thinking that I'm the break down. Just going for it."

Next up for Kerber is a semi-final meeting against Caroline Wozniacki, who dropped just two games on her way to beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-0 6-2.

Sevastova fell to the ground as she attempted to return Wozniacki's serve in the first game of the match and it was to prove crucial as she struggled with an ankle injury for the rest of the match.

Wozniacki took advantage to cruise to victory in just 52 minutes.

"I tried my best. I don't like to retire, but Caroline played great tennis. Even if I had no injury, it would be tough to beat her," said Sevastova.

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