Djokovic moves into semifinals with 4-set win over Youzhny

Novak Djokovic reacts after winning a break point

Novak Djokovic reacts after winning a break point against Mikhail Youzhny in the men's quarterfinals during the 2013 U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Sept. 5, 2013) (Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

For top-seed Novak Djokovic, the road to the U.S. Open men's semifinal has been paved with a seamless efficiency aided by the fact that he hadn't faced a seeded opponent through his first four matches.

That near perfection wavered only slightly in last night's quarterfinal as Djokovic dismissed No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny, the 31-year-old Russian who twice has been an Open semifinalist, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.

The third set was the first Djokovic has lost in the tournament, after sailing through 14 previous sets.

U.S. Open: Men's results | Women's results

Last night's victory positions Djokovic, the 2011 Open champ, for tomorrow's semifinal against Stanislas Wawrinka, the upset winner over defending champion Andy Murray. No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal, who won the Open in 2010, will play No. 8 Richard Gasquet of France in the other semi.

Djokovic now is 14-1 in career night matches at the Open and appears in peak form. "It's a great joy, you know," he said. "It's a fantastic feeling when you're playing this well. You love spending time on the court and experiencing such a great zone where you are at the moment."

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