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Djokovic - Monfils to clash in US Open semi-finals

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France's Gael Monfils defeated his compatriot Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 to claim a spot in the US Open tennis semifinals on Tuesday night.

In the semis, Monfils will face Novak Djokovic who eased past Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 6-2 in their quarterfinals encounter with the Frenchman retiring hurt after two sets due to a knee injury. Djokovic has now reached the semi-finals or better at 10 straight US Opens, but his eye will undoubtedly be on the top prize up for grabs at the weekend.

Pouille, the 24th seed, had survived three five-set matches to reach the quarters, including last Sunday's contest against Rafael Nadal, which lasted more than four hours.

The 22 year old French youngster, playing in his maiden US Open quarter-final wasn't too downhearted after the defeat, sharing, “Even [though] I lost today, I will leave New York with a lot of confidence for the rest of the year and the next season.”

“Of course, I was a bit tired today,” Pouille added. “It would have been better if I [spent] a bit less time on court. It's okay. I did my best today. Gael was playing very good. He's physically very fit. He's moving so well.”

Monfils meanwhile was thrilled with his win, and shared, “I'm happy with my performance. I think it is never easy to play a quarter-final against a French guy. I think I handled it pretty good mentally. I'm happy with that and where my game is.”

The Washington winner added, “My health has been big trouble all my career, and now it is somehow stabilized. I think it helps me a lot to be stronger.”

Monfils will take on Djokovic for the 13th time in their careers, with the Frenchman having not beaten the Serb even once. It has in fact been over two years since Monfils even took a set off Djokovic, but that could change this week considering how well the Frenchman is playing and how little playing time Djokovic has had.

Novak was looking forward to the semi-final match-up and shared, "I love watching Gael. He's one of the players that I will definitely pay a ticket to watch. He's very charismatic. He plays with a smile. He enjoys tennis and enjoys life. In my eyes, this is what everybody is supposed to be like, whether you're a sportsman or not. Bring that smile; bring that good energy. That's why people like him."

The Serb though was quick to add, "But also, he seems more focused at this time of his career. Especially on the hard court this year, he's playing the best tennis he's ever played. He's very consistent. He hasn't dropped a set before the semis. That says a lot about the level he's at. Definitely expecting a tough battle."