Djokovic, Del Potro charge into Wimbledon semis

10:16 AM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - World No. 1 and former Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and former U.S. Open titlist Juan Martin del Potro were a pair of straight-set quarterfinal winners Wednesday at The Championships.

Djokovic will meet del Potro in Friday's men's semifinals. The Argentine beat the Serb in last year's Olympic bronze-medal match on the grass here at the venerable All England Club.

Playing in his 17th straight Grand Slam quarterfinal, the Serbian star Djokovic handled seventh-seeded Czech slugger Tomas Berdych, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-3 on Court 1. The three-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist Berdych was the Wimbledon runner-up to Rafael Nadal back in 2010.

Djokovic advanced in 2 hours, 15 minutes by ripping 16 aces and breaking his opponent on four occasions.

The 26-year-old Djokovic is now 14-2 lifetime against the 27-year-old world No. 6 Berdych, who beat the Serb in a Wimbledon semifinal three years ago. Djokovic is 3-1 in their overall Grand Slam meetings. Berdych won their last tour meeting in three sets in Rome in May.

The remarkable Djokovic will appear in his 13th straight Grand Slam semifinal and is seeking a seventh career major singles title. The stalwart from Belgrade will appear in a fifth Wimbledon semi (1-3).

Djokovic beat Andy Murray in this year's Australian Open final, lost to Murray in last year's U.S. Open title tilt, and captured his lone Wimbledon championship two years ago.

Meanwhile, an eighth-seeded del Potro took out fourth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). Ferrer was last month's French Open runner- up to his compatriot Nadal.

The 6-foot-7 Del Potro moved on in 2 hours, 16 minutes with the help of 12 aces and three service breaks, compared to zero breaks for the much-smaller, 5-foot-9 Ferrer.

Del Potro is now 3-6 lifetime against Ferrer, who beat the Argentine in the fourth round at Wimbledon a year ago. The Spaniard also bested del Potro in the second round at the Aussie Open back in 2008.

The 24-year-old "Delpo" improved to 3-5 in his career major quarters, including 1-0 now at Wimbledon. The formidable Argentine stunned Roger Federer in the U.S. Open finale in 2009.

Del Potro will now appear in his third career Grand Slam semifinal (1-1).

The 31-year-old Ferrer was playing in his second straight Wimbledon quarterfinal (0-2) and 12th overall Grand Slam quarter (6-6).

Del Potro will face Djokovic for a 12th time, with the Serb comfortably leading their lifetime series, 8-3. Djokovic is 3-0 in their career Grand Slam matchups and the two stars will meet for the first time at Wimbledon.

The Sports Network

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