Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Djokovic beats Millman to reach US Open semifinals

Djokovic beats Millman to reach US Open semifinals

It's incredible to think Millman could find himself such a target after stretching Djokovic to nearly three hours in a 6-3 6-4 6-4 defeat that was much closer - and stressful for the Serbian superstar - than the straight-sets scoreline suggests.

The common thread among almost all the U.S. Open matches this year is the excessive heat and humidity at Arthur Ashe Stadium in NY.

Djokovic was made to work hard for his victory over Millman but finally defeated the Aussie in two hours 49 minutes just before midnight local time.

"I was saying to some of the boys on my team a couple weeks ago that it was dire straits for me", he added.

But the first Australian since Pat Rafter at the 1999 French Open to conquer Federer at a grand slam humbly played down suggestions he's now the country's new tennis hero. Incredible. I mean, I have to take at least 10 shirts for every match.

That came during an unusual stoppage after four games of the second set when Millman was instructed to go off court to change his whole kit because he was sweating so much it was making the surface unsafe.

It was Millman, in his loss to Djokovic, who received permission for the unusual mid-set outfit swap because he was leaving sweat all over the court. Millman played magnificently: matching forehand to forehand, running down shots that only Djokovic could catch, and often wrong-footing him.

And a lot of the media, I understand it's incredibly hard for me, I want to give my time, but it's tough when you're preparing to play Novak. "I didn't feel I had the runs on the board coming into the US Open", Millman said.

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"I personally have never sweated as much as I have here".

Both the players were uncomfortable with the conditions as Novak commented, "I was struggling, he was struggling, we were all sweating, changing clothes".

Millman served four double-faults only, but three came in two service games in which he was broken. That break seemed to give Djokovic some much-needed rest and he sat down on his sideline bench without a shirt on and cooled off.

Djokovic who missed last year's edition due to an elbow injury will slug it out with Japan's Kei Nishikori in the last four on Friday. I hope you die slowly, but f***ing painfully.You have deserved it!

But, not to be denied, Djokovic broke straight back to take the match to enhance his flawless semi-final record in NY to 11 from 11. Playing against Novak, I think the guy's beat a brick wall once. She won the Indian Wells Open and made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

"I don't know why but it's always a battle with Marin", said Nishikori, who stretched his career record over the seventh-seeded Croatian to 9-6.

It was clear that it could be a long night when the players battled for more than 15 minutes in the sixth game of the opening set, Millman saving four break points.

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