Djokovic advances to U.S. Open semis; Murray upset

New York, Sep 6 (EFE).- World No. 1 Novak Djokovic advanced to the U.S. Open semifinals for the seventh consecutive year with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 victory over Mikhail Youzhny and will next take on Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, who stunned defending champion Andy Murray in straight sets.

Djokovic lost his first set of this year's tournament on Thursday night but still won in dominating fashion, using his stellar return of serve to heap pressure on the Russian's service games throughout the contest.

The Serbian started the match with maximum intensity, no doubt keen to avoid an ambush similar to the one that befell Murray earlier in the day on the same court.

Through two sets, the 2011 champion jerked the Russian around from side to side and rarely allowed him to comfortably set up for his ground strokes.

With the match virtually in hand, Djokovic's intensity dipped somewhat in the third set and Youzhny took advantage to grab an early service break. Though the Serbian got back on serve, Youzhny snagged another break in the eighth game and then served out the set one game later.

That hiccup only served to revive Djokovic's intensity, however, as the Serb steamrolled his opponent 6-0 in just 29 minutes in set four to take the match.

"It was never going to be an easy match against Mikhail," Djokovic said afterward.

"For some reason I allowed him to come back into the match, started to push the ball, being more passive, and allowing him to step into the court, come to the net."

"It was important to get the early break in the fourth. I have done that, and after, you know, just kind of really felt a big relief on the court and just went for my shots and played great," the world No. 1 said.

For the match, Djokovic struck 32 winners and committed 45 unforced errors, compared with 15 winners and 31 unforced errors for the Russian.

Most observers were expecting Djokovic to square off against Murray in Saturday's semifinals but the Brit ran into a buzz saw Thursday afternoon against Wawrinka, who dictated play throughout en route to a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win.

Wawrinka pounded 45 winners to Murray's 15 over the course of the two hour and 15 minute match.

Saturday's other men's semifinal will pit world No. 2 Rafael Nadal of Spain against Frenchman Richard Gasquet.