World number one Novak Djokovic shrugged off visible discomfort to down David Ferrer 6-4 7-6(4) 6-1 on Wednesday and reach a semi-final meeting with Andy Murray to be played on Friday at the Australian Open, according to Eurosport.
Leading 2-1 in the second set of their quarter-final at Rod Laver Arena, Djokovic lurched awkwardly when chasing a ball to defend a break point, and grimaced in pain as he clutched his left leg.
Walking gingerly between points but still in full flight during play, the world number one survived a pulsating second set and stunned the nervous Spaniard by taking an early break in the third.
Fifth seed Ferrer doggedly chased down everything thrown at him but was powerless to stop Djokovic’s charge as the Serbian found his range in devastating form to seal the last set in 30 minutes with an ace.
In the other quarter final played on Wednesday, Andy Murray ended Kei Nishikori’s brilliant run carving up the Japanese sensation with a dominant 6-3 6-3 6-1 victory to stroll into his third successive semi-final at Melbourne Park.
Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova through
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova overcame a spirited challenge from unseeded Sara Errani 6-4 6-4 to advance to the Australian Open semi-finals, where she will face fourth seed Maria Sharapova next after she beat fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-2 6-3.
Kvitova, who beat Sharapova to win her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last July, is one of three players vying to supplant Caroline Wozniacki as world number one after the Dane’s quarter-final exit ensured she will drop from the top of the rankings after the tournament.
The 21-year-old had spent less than five hours on court during her four previous matches, but she was given a thorough workout by Errani as the pair duelled for an hour and 51 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
In the women pair junior’s tournament, Romanian Ilka Csoregi and Russian Elizaveta Kulicikova, qualified for the semi’s, after beating 6-4; 6-2 the pair Eugenie Bouchard/Carol Zhao (Canada).