Djokovic gets it done in Australia

Associated Press photo by AARON FAVLIASerbia's Novak Djokovic  celebrates his win over Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in their quarterfinal match Tuesday at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia.
Associated Press photo by AARON FAVLIASerbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates his win over Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in their quarterfinal match Tuesday at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic is really starting to get the hang of how to handle himself at the Australian Open.

An expression often used Down Under — “Keep your shirt on” — is designed to discourage anyone from becoming unnecessarily overexcited.

Djokovic took it literally after his 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win Tuesday night over fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych, advancing to the semifinals at an 11th consecutive Grand Slam tournament.

The 2-hour, 31-minute victory took exactly half the time of his five-set, fourth-round win two nights previously against Stanislas Wawrinka. In the early hours of Monday morning, Djokovic ripped his sweat-drenched shirt off and flexed his muscles, mimicking his victory celebration after the 5:53 victory over Rafael Nadal in the 2012 Australian Open final.

That was acceptable at the time to the Rod Laver Arena crowd, which was still abuzz at 1:40 a.m. after five sets of high-level tennis.

After the Berdych match, however, he realized there was no need to raise the roof. Djokovic calmly pumped his fist once and walked to the net; he later joked about the ice baths he’d taken in between matches on the advice of local hero Lleyton Hewitt.

“It was a great performance. I was hoping to have a shorter match ... just not to go over 5 hours,” Djokovic said, in a comparatively subdued mood after a considerably more routine victory.

“It’s always going to be tough against Tomas; he’s an established player. He has a big game, big serve. He can compete against anyone on any surface.”

In the semifinals, Djokovic will meet No. 4-seeded David Ferrer.

Ferrer survived a quarterfinal battle with fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro. Almagro had three chances to serve for the match, but Ferrer broke each time.