Djokovic beats Berdych to reach semis

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic risked disqualification when his racquet almost hit a line judge

Novak Djokovic swept past seventh seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets to reach the French Open semi-finals.

The world number one came through 6-3 7-5 6-3 and will face Austrian 13th seed Dominic Thiem in the last four.

Serb Djokovic, 29, is trying to win his first French Open title and complete the career Grand Slam.

The singles quarter-finals will be completed on Thursday as Serena Williams takes on Yulia Putintseva, and Timea Bacsinszky plays Kiki Bertens.

Thiem, 22, beat Belgian 12th seed David Goffin 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 6-1 to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.

Djokovic through after racquet slip

Djokovic had won 23 of his previous 25 matches against Berdych of the Czech Republic, and was never seriously threatened after beginning their 26th meeting in commanding fashion.

Berdych appealed for officials to take action when the rain, which has dogged this tournament, returned – but the closest Djokovic came to a quarter-final exit was a potential disqualification in the third set.

He let his racquet slip out of his hand while angrily swiping at the ground and was relieved to receive just a code violation as it narrowly missed a line judge.

“I am aware that I have been lucky,” he said afterwards. “It was just some unfortunate bounce, but fortunate ending of the scenario. That’s all I can say.”

Djokovic was already two sets up after dominating for an hour and a half, and moments later he recovered Berdych’s early break of serve in the third set.

Berdych described the tournament director’s hesitance to halt play when the rain became heavier as “an absolute circus”, but the delay lasted a little over 10 minutes and Djokovic soon wrapped up victory on the resumption.

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