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Djokovic downs Lu to storm into semis

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-06-30 01:50:59
Djokovic downs Lu to storm into semis

LONDON: Serbia`s Novak Djokovic stormed through to the Wimbledon semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Taiwan`s Lu Hsun-Yen on Wednesday.

World number three Djokovic played almost faultless tennis to wrap up victory in an hour and 51 minutes on Court One as Lu, the conqueror of thrice Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick in the previous round, was blown away.

Djokovic`s serve was functioning so well Lu did not have a single break point in the three sets and the third seed now looks a serious contender to add this Grand Slam to the Australian Open title he won in 2009.

Djokovic faces either Swiss defending champion Roger Federer, who is gunning for his seventh Wimbledon crown, or Czech 12th seed Tomas Berdych, in Friday`s semi-finals.

"Nothing is easy these days, especially at this stage of the tournament," Djokovic said.

"But the way I have played I think I deserve to win. I was hitting all the shots and I was really playing very solid from all parts of the court so I`m very, very happy with the performance.

"I sincerely hope to continue with this level of my game. The way I have been playing match after match is very encouraging.

"I`ve nothing really to lose in the semi-finals," he added.

The 23-year-old has had less success at Wimbledon than at other Grand Slams, although he reached the semi-finals here in 2007 when he was forced to retire from his clash with Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic was in control from the start against Lu, with the Taiwanese unable to neutralise his powerful serve. When Lu did set up an opportunity in certain, points he failed to finish it off as his forehand misfired.

But in this form Djokovic would have beaten most players on the circuit, let alone someone ranked 79 places below him.

Every aspect of the Serbian`s game was working.

Lu defended two break points in the fourth game of the first set but Djokovic made no mistake in the sixth game to engineer a crucial advantage.

The Serbian number one broke in the fifth game of the second set on his way to a 2-0 lead and broke Lu in the first game of the third set to retain complete command of the match.

Lu, as in his match against US star Roddick, refused to throw in the towel and correctly challenged a line call, to big cheers from the crowd, in what proved to be the final game of the match.

Lu`s progression to the quarter-finals has transfixed Taiwan, with President Ma Ying-jeou congratulating the player and saying that thousands of people stayed up late to watch his matches.

The world number 82 was the longest surviving unseeded player in the men`s draw and put in his best ever performance at a Grand Slam.

He is the first Asian men`s player to reach the last eight since Japan`s Shuzo Masuoka achieved the feat in 1995 but he ran out of steam against the irresistible Djokovic.

BDST: 2041hrs, June 30, 2010

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