x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Novak Djokovic wins to set up semi-final with Federer in Abu Dhabi

The world No 1 beats Gael Monfils in quarter-finals of Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Novak Djokovic lost the second set to Gael Monfils.
Novak Djokovic lost the second set to Gael Monfils.

ABU DHABI // Novak Djokovic showed no signs of the shoulder injury that troubled the final weeks of his memorable 2011 season, though he did seem to wrestle with overconfidence in the second set, as the world No 1 defeated Gael Monfils 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship tonight.

The match looked like it would be about fun more than games in the first set, when the players seemed preoccupied with entertaining fans at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex at Zayed Sports City. Djokovic and Monfils each went for high-risk winners, and they had the crowd cheering when they executed three between-the-legs shots, two by Monfils, on a single point.

After Monfils, No 16 in the world, rebounded to win the second set, things got a bit dicey for Djokovic in the final set. He had to save two match points to avoid being broken in the third game, and did not take control of the set until breaking Monfils in the sixth game with a marvellous smash down the line off a fairly deep lob.

Djokovic meets Roger Federer, the world No 3, in the early semi-final tomorrow at 3pm; Rafael Nadal, the world No 2, plays David Ferrer, the world No 5, in the late match.

Ferrer defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2-6, 7-6, 6-2 in the early match, which had none of the frivolity to come later.

The tournament is not part of the ATP tour, but for four years has been a popular warm-up competition for the coming season.


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