Novak Djokovic kept his emotions in check following the death of his grandfather Vladimir in Serbia to reach the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals yesterday, beating Dutchman Robin Haase 6-4, 6-2.
The Serb was joined in the last four by seven-time champion Rafael Nadal who eased past Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 7-5, 6-4, winning his 40th consecutive match in the principality, a run dating back to 2005.
Novak Djokovic returns to Robin Haase. Pic/AFP
Djokovic had considered withdrawing before his third-round match on Thursday, which came only a few hours after he’d received the bad news. “Yeah, I did. But I’m a professional and life goes on,” he said. “It’s been a tough week. I’m just happy that I can play tennis. “I’m sure he is supporting me from heaven. I remember him well. But this is life, you have to accept it. His spirit will always be with me.”
Djokovic will face Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals after the Czech knocked out British third seed Andy Murray 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-3. Nadal took his record over Wawrinka to a perfect 8-0 and will next face either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Gilles Simon for a place in Sunday’s final. “Stan was playing well after beating (fellow Spaniard Nicolas) Almagro (in the third round),” said Nadal.