Australian Open 2013: Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer advance to semifinals

Julian Finney

Novak Djokovic handled Tomas Berdych in four sets, but David Ferrer had to go the distance against Nicolas Almagro to set up a semifinals clash between the top two seeds in the top half of the bracket.

The top two men in the top half of the draw at the 2013 Australian Open are through to the semifinals, as both Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer advanced on Day 9 in Melbourne. After his five-set scare against Stanislas Wawrinka, Djokovic needed four sets to dispose of Tomas Berdych. Ferrer, on the other hand, fell behind two sets to Nicolas Almagro before coming back to defeat his fellow Spaniard for the 13th straight time.

Djokovic is going for his third straight Aussie Open title, but after the five-hour match against Wawrinka earlier this week, there were some questions about his energy level coming into the match with Berdych. Djokovic was pushed a bit in the quarterfinals match, but managed to break and win the third and fourth sets to move on, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. The No. 1 player has reach the semifinals in his last 11 Grand Slam events, and now he'll get Ferrer.

Ferrer's hopes of a first major were certainly on the ropes early in Day 9, as Almagro took the first two sets, 6-4, 6-4. Almagro had all the energy and momentum and it appeared he would reach the semis of a major for the first time in his career. But Ferrer, who had never lost to Almagro, battled back to take it in five sets, 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Almagro's chances to close it out were also affected by a leg injury in the fourth set. It required a medical timeout, and after that, he was never the same, as Ferrer finished off the fourth set and rolled in the fifth set to advance. Ferrer has been in the semis of a major five times, but has yet to reach the finals. Breaking through will be as difficult as ever, as he now gets two-time defending champ Djokovic.

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