Djokovic and Ferrer enter last four; Makarova & Soares win mixed title

Bob and Mike Bryan collected a record-equalling 12th Grand Slam men’s doubles title on Friday when they defeated Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4 in the US Open final.

The second-seeded American brothers went level with Australia’s John Newcombe and Tony Roche as the most successful partnership of all time. Friday’s win was their fourth at the US Open, following triumphs in 2005, 2008 and 2010.

They also won the 2003 French Open, the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Australian Open titles as well as Wimbledon in 2006 and 2011, a record that also means they are the most successful in the Open era.

India’s Paes and Czech partner Stepanek had defeated the American duo in the Australian Open final earlier this year.

In the men’s singles, Novak Djokovic survived a brutal test from former champion Juan Martin del Potro to storm into a sixth successive US Open semifinal on Thursday and stay on course to defend his title.

The second-seeded Serb is bidding to win a sixth Grand Slam title and is now the comfortable tournament favourite following the elimination of world No. 1 Roger Federer.

The Serbian was at his brilliant best, producing 43 breathtaking winners and scrambling around the Arthur Ashe Stadium centre court vigorously, fetching everything the towering del Potro threw at him.

Djokovic eventually won 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-4 to go into the last four as the only man yet to drop a set in the tournament but the scoreline did not reflect the intensity of a match where he was pushed to the limit.

“Even though it was a straight-set win it was much closer than the score indicated,” Djokovic said in a courtside interview. “I'm just happy to get through.”

Hard-fought win

Djokovic’s next opponent is the Spanish baseliner David Ferrer, who won a four-and-a-half hour slugfest with Djokovic’s countryman Janko Tipsarevic. Saturday’s other semifinal sees third seed Andy Murray face Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

With both players close to exhaustion after running each other to a standstill in the mid-afternoon sun, Ferrer clawed his way back from 4-1 down in the final set to win the deciding tiebreaker and triumph 6-3, 6-7(5), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(4).

With the last Grand Slam of the season reaching its climax, the first trophies were handed out on Thursday when Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova and Brazil’s Bruno Soares won the mixed doubles final.

The pair, who literally teamed up at the last minute when Soares was told he would not qualify for the field with his original partner Jarmila Gajdosova, came from behind to defeat Czech Kveta Peschke and Marcin Matkowski of Poland 12-10 in a deciding tiebreaker after splitting the first two sets 6-7(8), 6-1.

The defining moment in Djokovic’s win over del Potro came late in the second set, which went 84 minutes.

The Argentine served for the set at 5-4 but Djokovic broke back and eventually won it in a tiebreaker after the 12th game lasted 17 minutes.

Keywords: US Open 2012

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