No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, to advance to the men's singles semifinals at the 2013 U.S. Open. The match began like it could be a potential nailbiter. Youzhny took Djokovic to break point twice in the first game, but couldn't convert. Perhaps if he had been able to take an early advantage in the first set, Youzhny would have had the momentum to make the last men's quarterfinal a better match. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.
Djokovic promptly broke Youzhny in the next game to take a 2-0 advantage that quickly improved to 3-0 before Youzhny could finally win a game of his own. The two men held serve to give Djokovic the first set. Then Djokovic cruised in the second set, breaking Youzhny twice. Youzhny once again had three break point chances, and lost them all.
Youzhny finally injected some tension into the match in the third set, finding answers to Djokovic's killer first serve. Djokovic scored on 71 percent of his first serve opportunities in the first set, and 87 percent in the second set but fell to 58 percent in the third. Youzhny was much stronger on the return, and was able to squeeze out two breaks to one to take the set, 6-3
Youzhny's success was short lived, however. Djokovic made quick work in the fourth, storming through Youzhny to take the set, and the match, 6-0. For the match, Djokovic had 32 winners to Youzhny's 15, and was dominant on first serves, scoring on 70 percent of his opportunities to 53 percent for Youzhny.
Djokovic advances to the semifinals to take on No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka, who dominated defending champion Andy Murray in straight sets Thursday. Wawrinka squashed Murray's spirits in the 10th game of the first set. Murray defended break point six times down 5-4 in the set before finally succumbing. After losing the set, Murray yelled and smashed his racket in frustration, something he hadn't done all year.
The other side of the men's draw will pit No. 2 Rafael Nadal against No. 8 Richard Gasquet. Nadal is looking for his first non-French Open grand slam title since 2010. Gasquet made the semifinals at Wimbledon earlier this summer, and is looking to make a Grand Slam final for the first time in his career.
The women were off Thursday. They will play both of their semifinals matchups Friday. Flavia Pennetta will take on No. 2 Victoria Azarenka after upsetting Roberta Vinci in the last round. No. 5 Li Na will try to take down No. 1 Serena Williams later in the day.
You can check the remaining bracket for the men's and women's draws below:
No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka vs. No. 1 Novak Djokovic -- Saturday
No. 8 Richard Gasquet vs. No. 2 Rafael Nadal -- Saturday
Flavia Pennetta vs. No. 2 Victoria Azarenka -- Friday, not before 1:45 p.m.
No. 5 Li Na vs. No. 1 Serena Williams -- Friday, not before 3:45 p.m. ET