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Farewell Fish as Djokovic advances

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Originally published on: 07/09/10 10:13

Mardy Fish’s stellar summer has ended after he ran into Novak Djokovic in vintage form in the US Open fourth round.

The No.3 seed is through to his sixth consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final after a dominant 6-3 6-4 6-1 victory wrapped up in under two hours on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It was a great performance and probably my best so far in the tournament,” said Djokovic after his fifth win on the bounce against Fish. “I’m pleased I’m playing better and better. Hopefully I can go a step further but the way I’m playing I have a good chance.”

Up next for the Serb is Gael Monfils, a player he has beaten in each of their four previous meetings. But Djokovic is determined to avoid complacency as he chases a fourth consecutive semi-final spot in New York.

The Frenchaman beat compatriot Richard Gasquet 6-4 7-5 7-5 to book his quarter-final spot.

“Monfils is physically one of the strongest on the circuit. I will have to work for my points but the better player will win,” he added.

In a repeat of their Roland Garros encounter earlier in the season, five-time US Open champion Roger Federer and Robin Soderling will contest the other quarter-final in the bottom half of the draw.

Federer’s smooth progress in New York continued with a 6-3 7-6(4) 6-3 victory over Jurgen Melzer, albeit with the help of two lucky net-cords in the second set tiebreak.

“I’m happy and really relieved I’m through,” said Federer, who hasn’t dropped a set in the tournament. “I’m finding a way to win, playing the right way, playing aggressively. I’ve worked extremely hard. It’s nice to see it paying off.”

Asked about the prospect of facing Soderling, a 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-3 victor over Albert Montanes and the man who ended his streak of consecutive Grand Slam semi-final appearances by beating him in Paris, he admitted it was a tough draw.

“He’s always been a dangerous player but these days he’s been able to do it consistently, at the highest level,” said Federer, who leads his head-to-head with Soderling 12-1.

“I expect it to be really tough, especially now that he has gotten a taste of how to beat me,” said Federer. “It’s up to me to clean up my game and put in a good performance.

“He’s been able to string together a few good years now on the tour. Before he was very good already but he was a bit up and down. That’s also maybe why his ranking was a bit lower. Now he is playing really well.

“Little things can have a huge impact – just growing up, too. It took me a long time to figure out that staying calm was going to be better for my game than not. I only realised that at about 20 years old.”

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