Good morning and welcome to Sports Mole's coverage of Novak Djokovic
vs. Feliciano Lopez
in the quarter-finals of the US Open
. The players are out on the court at the Arthur Ashe Stadium and the match will begin shortly...
Lopez has never beaten his opponent tonight in five previous attempts, but what a time to get the first one it would be tonight. The 33-year-old is competing in his first US Open quarter-final this morning.
It took the world number one four sets to overcome Roberto Bautista Agut in the last round, but how will he do tonight? The match is about to begin...
Djokovic starts with a good backhand winner from the baseline, before a Lopez error puts the world number one 30-0 up. The Spaniard takes his first point as Djokovic hits a backhanded strike out, before Lopez levels with a great forehand drop shot. The number 18 seed then moves ahead with a backhanded effort across the court, but an error levels the game. Djokovic fired back with a powerful volley from the net, before taking the first game by forcing an error from Lopez.
BREAK! Superb tennis all round here! Brilliant service from Lopez, who hits two ferocious aces to go 30-0 up, but Djokovic recovers to take a point. Djokovic levels as Lopez hits a drop shot out, before the Serb hits a terrific forehand beyond Lopez. Djokovic breaks after his opponent hits the net with a return. The favourite is looking very good already.
Superb from Djokovic, who rounds off a lengthy volley with a cool forehand winner that sends Lopez the wrong way. The Spaniard recovers, but Djokovic doesn't wait long before pulling ahead. The Serb found his stride well, forcing Lopez into an error before holding his serve for the game.
BREAK! Djokovic hits a superb return to take an early lead, before moving further ahead by forcing an error. Lopez recovers, before completing a thrilling rally with a drop shot beyond his opponent, who had worked hard to keep the ball moving with some brilliant footwork. Djokovic moves to a break point opportunity thanks to a flick at the net, before the Serb wraps it up with a Lopez double fault. Some of the fans are only just returning to their seats after the Williams game - hurry up, you're missing a Djokovic masterclass here!
Novak Djokovic is in full flow at Flushing Meadows. He races to 40-0 up by forcing a string of errors from Lopez, before holding his serve. We are racing through the first set here at 5-0!
Lopez goes 30-0 ahead with an ace, before Djokovic produces a couple of errors to give the Spaniard his first game in rapid time.
SET! Djokovic hits a fine volley to take the scores to 15-15 before holding his nerve in a long rally to move ahead. The Serb forces an error from his opponent to move to a set point opportunity, and Djokovic grabs it with a superb serve that forces Lopez into hitting the return into the sky. It has taken just 25 minutes for the world number one to see out the first set. Bed before 5am? Don't put it past him.
Great footwork from Djokovic, who forces Lopez into slicing a shot into the net from a difficult position, before a double fault sees the Spaniard go 15-30 down. Djokovic moves 40-30 ahead as Lopez hits a drop shot into the net, but the number 18 seed recovers. Another double fault ends a game point opportunity for Lopez, but he gains the advantage again as Djokovic slices a shot into the net. Again Lopez loses out though, but an ace and an impressive drop shot eventually give the Spaniard the game.
BREAK! Brilliant service from the world number one helps him to a 30-0 lead, but Lopez recovers, before Djokovic hits a backhand shot beyond his opponent's baseline. Djokovic then completes a rally with a backhand shot across court that goes out, and Lopez completes the break thanks to a Djokovic lob that also lands beyond the court. Game on now!
Djokovic moves ahead with a cool backhand shot, before Lopez recovers with an impressive forehand winner. The Spaniard wraps up the game with an ace and it's 3-0 in the second set. Lopez has arrived!
Remember the Serbian guy from the first set? He's returned. Djokovic hits a sublime forehand winner to go 30-0 ahead, before forcing a couple of errors to wrap up his first game in the set.
Another ace from Lopez gives him a 30-0 lead, but Djokovic recovers. Lopez moves to 40-15 ahead as Djokovic hits the net from the baseline - just as the world number one was beginning to rediscover his rhythm from back there - before the Spaniard held his serve to win the game.
Djokovic races to a 30-0 lead, before Lopez recovers with a forehand pass across court after some risky play by Djokovic. The Serb responds well though, and takes the game with a forehand winner.
Another ace from Lopez gives the Spaniard the lead, before a big second serve forces Djokovic into an error out of sheer protection from the flying tennis ball! Lopez wraps up the game with yet another ace, and the 33-year-old is on top in the second set.
Superb from Lopez, who scampers across the baseline to hit a forehand shot across court, before taking a 30-0 lead. Djokovic recovers, and an error from Lopez levels it up. Djokovic takes the lead, before taking the game as Lopez struggled to respond to the Serb's forehand shot.
SET! Brilliant play from Djokovic, as the world number one completes a long rally with a neat backhand shot that sends Lopez the wrong way. The Spaniard recovers though, before forcing an error to take the lead with a good service. Djokovic levels the score with some good footwork at the net, before hitting a drop shot that forces Lopez into hitting the net. The Serb then holds his nerve in a long rally, but Lopez recovers after a replayed point with a serve and volley that forces Djokovic to slice his shot. Lopez takes the advantage with an ace, only for Djokovic to recover with a superb lob that forces the Spaniard to scramble back to reach the ball, with his shot hitting the net. Lopez regains the advantage with a Djokovic error, and takes the set with an ace.
Well Djokovic had looked set for a rapid victory after the first set, but the second belonged entirely to Feliciano Lopez. The Serb has returned to form in this game though. Three quick Lopez errors give Djokovic a 40-0 lead, before the Serb holds his serve. Better from Djokovic.
BREAK! Much better in fact! Djokovic races to a 40-0 lead thanks to three Lopez errors, before the Spaniard hits back with an ace. Lopez makes a backhand slice past Djokovic to pull another point back, before he completes the comeback with another powerful serve that forces Djokovic into a mistake. Lopez than takes the advantage, only to slice a shot into the net to bring deuce. The Spaniard hits back with a 128mph serve though that forces Djokovic into an error, only for a double fault to bring the second deuce. Djokovic is then presented with a break point opportunity as Lopez slices a backhand shot into the net, before another double fault gives the game away.
Simple stuff from Djokovic, who moves to 30-0 up before allowing his opponent back into the game with two unforced errors. Djokovic regains the lead as Lopez hits a forehand shot beyond the baseline, before Djokovic takes the game with a placed winner. All Novak now.
Lopez gets his first game of the set, wrapped up with a brilliant serve that forces Djokovic to simply swat the ball away. Better from the Spaniard.
Lopez takes the first point with a backhand winner, but Djokovic recovers. The Serb then composes himself before taking the game thanks to a string of errors by Lopez.
Superb from Lopez! The Spaniard moves into the net to simply dink the ball across the court and away from the advancing Djokovic to go 30-0 up. An error from Djokovic extends the lead, before Lopez wraps up this second game of the set.
Good morning New York! It's midnight at Flushing Meadows, and the longevity of the game will not help whoever progresses tonight. That could be Djokovic, who is one game away from taking the third set. Lopez takes the first point after Djokovic ends a rally with a shot beyond the baseline, but the world number one recovers, only to give his opponent another point with an error. Lopez is presented with two break point opportunities thanks to another Novak error, but the Serb recovers. Djokovic takes the advantage with a neat little forehand drop over the net, before an ace wraps up the game.
Lopez hits a brilliant ace to take the score to 15-15, before producing another two big serves to force errors from Djokovic. Lopez does the same again to wrap up the game.
SET! Advantage Djokovic in the quarter-final! Lopez hits two unforced errors to give Djokovic a 30-0 lead, before an ace extends that to 40. The world number one hits a smart forehand across court to take the third set.
Lopez hits an ace that almost knocks out the line judge! That was for 40-0, and the Spaniard completes the game when Djokovic's forehand effort deflects off the net and goes out.
Strong service from Djokovic, who forces his opponent into errors before taking a 40-0 lead. The Serb takes the game as Lopez hits a forehand shot out wide.
Big serves from Lopez, as the Spaniard forces a couple of errors from Djokovic to lead 40-15. The Serb responds as Lopez hits an unforced error, but Lopez takes the game with another ace.
Djokovic takes the lead with a superb forehand smash, before hitting an ace to go 40-15 up over Lopez. Lopez responds with a backhand winner from the baseline, but the world number one takes the game with a forehand volley that lands beyond the reach of the Spaniard.
A brilliant volley gives Lopez the lead, before Djokovic hits the net to go 0-30 down. The Serb finds a way back through a Lopez error though, before Lopez hits a neat drop shot from the net to regain the momentum. Lopez takes the game after Djokovic's return fires beyond the Spaniard's baseline. All very tight so far in this fourth set - who will take the initiative?
Djokovic ends a rally with an error to take the scores to 15-15, before a forehand shot lands wide and gives Lopez the lead. The Serb responds well though with a forehand shot that forces Lopez into hitting the net, before Djokovic hits a brilliant passing shot beyond the number 18 seed. Lopez recovers with a backhand drop though to bring deuce. Djokovic acrobatically hits two shots at the net, only for Lopez to lob beyond the Serb and take the advantage, but the Spaniard makes an error. The Serb takes the advantage, before hitting another shot out wide. Lopez takes the advantage again thanks to a Djokovic error, but he responds with an ace. The 28-year-old takes the advantage again, and this time wins the game.
Lopez rushes to a 40-0 lead thanks to three big serves that force errors out of Djokovic, but the Serb hits a forehand winner to take a point from the game. Lopez rounds off the game with another forced Djokovic error though. The Spaniard is breezing his service games, but Djokovic is only just doing enough to get through his own at times. Will there be a shock this morning?
Lopez hits a lucky backhand shot, that lands inside the line with a little help from the net. Djokovic hits back with an ace, and moves to 30-15 up as his opponent slices a shot into the net. The Serb produces a brilliant forehand winner, but Lopez pulls a point back thanks to a Djokovic error. Lopez levels the scores as the world number one hits the net with a backhand shot, only for Djokovic to take the advantage. The Serb holds his serve to take another game.
Lopez takes the lead with a backhand volley, but Djokovic recovers. The Spaniard then takes the lead again with a forehand shot across the court, before forcing an error to move to 40-15. Lopez wraps the game up with a big serve that forces Djokovic into another error.
It's so tight in this fourth set! Djokovic takes the lead with a brilliant volley from the net, before wrong-footing his opponent with a forehand pass shot down the line. Lopez takes a point back, but the Serb moves a step closer to taking the game with a superb backhand shot across the court. A Lopez error gives Djokovic the game. Easily Djokovic's best service game for some time.
Djokovic takes the score to 15-15 with a great backhand winner, before Lopez responds with a smash. The Serb levels again with a drop shot from the net, before Lopez regains the lead. The Spaniard takes the game with a smart forehand shot. Pressure on Djokovic!
The Serb handles it well though, forcing errors from his opponent to race into a 30-0 lead before hitting an ace to extend that to 40. Lopez takes a point, but the Spaniard makes an error to give Novak the game. Tiebreak it is! Can Djokovic finish Lopez off here?
GAME SET MATCH! Yes he can! Lopez is broken with a forced error thanks to a brilliant Djokovic return, and the Serb makes his opponent pay with a brilliant backhand to go 4-1 up. Back on serve, Djokovic edges closer to victory thanks to some brilliant footwork at the baseline, before the Serb forces another error to go 6-1 up. Lopez does well to prevent the match ending early with a brilliant forehand, but Djokovic finishes it off 7-2!
Well that was far from the best of Novak Djokovic, but his class really came to light in that tiebreak. The world number one wins his quarter-final with Feliciano Lopez 6-1 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) and goes through to the semis.
Djokovic will take on the defending champion Marin Cilic in the semi-finals, and you can find out how the Serb made it through against Lopez with our report HERE
That's all we have time for this morning, thank you for your company! Check out Sports Mole from 4pm for the latest from another day of action at the US Open.