Ferrer wins in 5, Djokovic wins battle of the champions

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Updated: September 7, 2012

Fourth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer edged Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-3 6-7 2-6 6-3 7-6 on Thursday in a see-saw slugfest marked by gutsy, gritty play to reach the semifinals of the US Open.

Ferrer, who was a break down early in the fifth set, won the pressure packed four-hour, 31-minute quarterfinal by claiming the climactic tiebreaker 7-4 when Tipsarevic hit a backhand into the net from deep in the corner.

The win was another highlight in a career season for Ferrer, who has captured five titles on three different surfaces and made at least the quarterfinals of all four grand slams.

Novak Djokovic took a giant step in his quest to repeat as US Open champion by beating Juan Martin del Potro 6-2 7-6 6-4 to reach the semifinals.

Djokovic will meet fourth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain.

Saturday’s other semifinal will pit Olympic champion Andy Murray of Britain against Tomas Berdych, who beat Roger Federer in the quarterfinal.

All the ingredients are in place for a classic finish to the US Open women’s singles tournament with a stellar cast set to take the court on Friday in semifinal action at the year’s final grand slam.

The four survivors include the winners of this year’s three slams: Victoria Azarenka (Australian Open), Maria Sharapova (French Open) and Serena Williams (Wimbledon) as well as Roland Garros runner-up Sara Errani, who looms as the underdog after drawing Williams in the semis.

As the greatest player of her generation with 14 grand slam titles, Williams is the overwhelming favourite to beat Errani and is in great form, having won her fifth Wimbledon title in July then her first Olympic singles title.

She has already won the US Open three times, but only once since claiming her second title in 2002. Last year, she suffered a shock loss to Australia’s Sam Stosur, but believes she is reaching her peak at the right time this week.