Djokovic one win away from No.3 spot
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:46
Novak Djokovic rallied to subdue a second-set fightback from Fernando Verdasco to reach the semi-finals of the China Open with a 6-3 1-6 6-1 win.
The result puts Djokovic one victory away from leapfrogging Andy Murray in the rankings after the Scot withdrew from next week’s Shanghai Masters 1000 with his lingering wrist injury.
“We are all quite close and it can turn around at any time – it’s still not the end of the year”
Should the Serb beat Robin Soderling in the semi-finals of the Beijing event, he will return to No.3 in the world on October 19, regaining the ranking he lost to Murray back in May when he failed to defend his Rome Masters 1000 crown.
“I thought I was playing well and consistent this year, but I still dropped a spot,” said Djokovic. “That meant others were playing really well, including Andy Murray.”
“I was surprised when he pulled out of Shanghai but obviously he has some problem with injury,” he added.
“That’s tennis. Rankings come and go, we are all quite close and it can turn around at any time. It’s still not the end of the year.”
Soderling secured his semi-final spot with a 7-6(3) 6-4 win over Ivan Ljubicic, while US Open quarter-finalist Marin Cilic beat No.4 seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-4 6-4 for a place in the other final four clash, ending the Russian’s six-match winning streak.
Cilic will play either Rafael Nadal or Marat Safin in the second semi-final.