World number one Novak Djokovic was the beneficiary of another injury withdrawal as ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired midway through their quarter-final at the US Open on Tuesday.
Djokovic was leading 6-3, 6-2 before Tsonga called it quits prior to the start of the third set due to a knee injury.
This is the third match in which Djokovic has progressed as a result of a retirement. In the second round, he received a walkover after Jiri Vesely withdrew due to inflammation in his left forearm. In the third round, Mikhail Youzhny pulled out midway through the first set due to a hamstring injury, handing Djokovic a free pass to the fourth round.
Djokovic too has been hampered by injury, but he showed no signs of the wrist aliment that had required treatment earlier in the tournament when he claimed a 3-2 lead. A run of three games against the serve followed, but at 5-3 up there was no stopping Djokovic from rounding out the set.
It was smoother sailing for the Serb in the second set as he broke Tsonga twice to take a 5-2 lead. Tsonga, who had been limping since injuring his knee in the fifth game of the set, was unable to halt Djokovic’s charge and found himself two sets down.
Prior to the start of the third set, Tsonga decided that his injury was too great for him to continue, gifting Djokovic a path to the semi-finals of the year’s last grand slam.
The Serb, who is now two matches away from winning his third grand slam title of the year, will face 10th seed Gael Monfils in the semi-finals after the Frenchman defeated compatriot Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.