• Rogers Cup

Djokovic sets up Nadal semi

ESPN staff
August 10, 2013
Djokovic cruised into the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup © Getty Images

Novak Djokovic needed just 52 minutes to book a Rogers Cup semi-final showdown with Rafael Nadal after easing past world No. 9 Richard Gasquet.

The world No. 1 thrashed Gasquet 6-1 6-2 before describing his performance "as close to perfection as you can be".

Nadal also cruised through, beating Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic 6-2 6-4.

Nadal leads Djokovic 20-15 in previous meetings, including the epic French Open semi-final two months ago which saw the Spaniard edge it 9-7 in the fifth set.

The 11 meetings prior had all been finals, four of which were on hard courts similar to those in Montreal, which were all won by Djokovic.

"Hard court is my most preferred surface," Djokovic admitted. "I feel that that's maybe the place where I have more chances against [Nadal] than on clay definitely.

Fourth seed Nadal conceded the hard courts would make Djokovic favourite to go through to the final.

"The conditions here are probably more favourable for him," said the 27-year-old Spaniard.

"Yes, we are playing on hard, but especially the conditions here. It's one of the fastest courts of the hard court tournaments outdoors."

The other semi-final will see Vasek Pospisil meet Milos Raonic, meaning there will be a Canadian in the Montreal final.

World No. 13 Raonic kept his composure in front of a parochial home crowd as he overcame Andy Murray's conqueror Ernests Gulbis 7-6 4-6 6-4 in a two-and-a-half hour contest.

He now plays the 71st-ranked Pospisil, whose semi-final spot was booked when opponent Nikolay Davydenko retired while trailing 3-0 in the first set.

The world No. 1 high-fives the ball boys and girls after his win © Getty Images
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