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Djokovic to face Gulbis in semi-finals

ESPN staff
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Novak Djokovic reached the final of the French Open in 2012 © Getty Images
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World No.2 Novak Djokovic will take on Ernests Gulbis in the semi-finals of the French Open after both players came through their last-eight encounters in straight sets.

Djokovic defeated Milos Raonic 7-5 7-6(5) 6-4, while Gulbis followed up his fine victory against Roger Federer in the previous round with a 6-3 6-2 6-4 win over Tomas Berdych.

Djokovic suffered a wobble in the third set as Raonic came from 5-1 down to trail by one game at 5-4. However, Djokovic at the second time of asking sealed victory on his serve as he continues his quest to land a maiden Roland Garros title.

"It was very complicated against his serve which is so precise and powerful but I'm really happy," Djokovic said.

"It was difficult to return and important for me to keep concentration but I'm delighted to be in the semi-finals."

Djokovic at 6-5 in front secured the first break to take the opening set. He then took a two sets to love lead by winning a tiebreak after neither player created a break point opportunity.

Raonic struggled in the third set as Djokovic broke twice to lead 4-0. Djokovic then moved to within a game of the last four after going 5-1 up, but Raonic staged a mini-fightback by taking three successive games to make it 5-4.

Djokovic, though, booked a semi-final spot by holding serve to seal victory on his first match point and is expecting a tough test against Gulbis.

"[Ernests] Gulbis is a very good player, he beat Roger [Federer] and now [Tomas] Berdych in three sets which is really impressive," he said. "He's playing his best tennis so it's going to be an important match for me."

Gulbis reached the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time after the Latvian put out 2010 Wimbledon finalist Berdych.

"It's very special," Gulbis said, who beat Federer in five sets in the last 16. "Today was the best match of the tournament. I did everything well. Everything worked. Tomas was getting angry because I was hitting the lines all the time but, sorry, that's part of the sport."

Ernests Gulbis reached the quarter-finals of the French Open in 2008 © Getty Images
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