>> Friday, April 20, 2012
World #1 and top-seeded Novak Djokovic overcame personal sorrow and a stubborn opponent in eliminating Robin Haase of the Netherlands. Djokovic now advances to the semifinals of the 2012 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament in Monaco after his 64 62 victory achieved in 77 minutes. The Serb will next face world #7 Tomas Berdych who conquered higher ranked #4 Andy Murray 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3. The semifinals match between Djokovic and Berdych will be shown live online here.
Djokovic was playing his second match after learning about the death of his grandfather during practice yesterday. He indicated that he handled his emotions better during the quarterfinals as compared to his third round match where he lost the first set before composing himself to take the next two sets. He is quoted as saying that the win is a “big result under the circumstances”. Djokovic also said that his grandfather is very close to him, and it was a “big loss for me and all the family”. He credits “remembering only the nicest memories, and that’s what gave me strength to play yesterday and today”.
Djokovic Stats: With the victory, the 24-year-old Serb improved his career record in Monte-Carlo to 14-5. He is aiming to improve from his last appearance in 2010 where he lost to Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals. His best result in this tennis tournament is reaching the finals in 2009 before losing to Rafael Nadal. Djokovic is looking to win his third tournament of the year after winning the Australian Open in Melbourne and the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. He is playing in his fifth tournament and has a 23-2 win-loss record prior to the semifinals. He has reached at least the semifinal stage in all five tournaments played. He is aiming for his 31st ATP career title in Monte-Carlo.
Berdych Stats: The top player from the Czech Republic now has a 12-7 record in the Monte-Carlo tennis tournament. He has now replicated his best result in 2007 where he also reached the semifinals before losing to then world #2 Nadal. He improved his match record this year to 22-5, and has a perfect 5-0 record on clay. This season, he has won the Montpellier title, and reached the semifinals in Rotterdam. Three of his losses this season have been against top 10 opponents. With the win against Murray, he improved his top 10 record this year to three wins against three losses.
Djokovic vs Berdych: The Czech held a match point against Djokovic on their last meeting at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November 2011. He lost the match and he cherishes the next opportunity for another shot at the world #1.
Berdych on Djokovic: “It's a day to play the No. 1 player in the world, which is always great. It's a semi-final, which is fantastic.” Djokovic on Berdych: “He's a threat to anybody on any surface. Big groundstrokes, powerful serve. He knows what it feels like to play on the big stage... Hit incredible shots from baseline.” Watch the 2012 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters men’s semifinal between Djokovic and Berdych live online through TennisTV.com.