Novak Djokovic reaches Eastbourne semi-finals by beating Donald Young

Novak Djokovic
Three-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic is the second seed at SW19 this year
Eastbourne 2017
Venue: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne Date: 26 June-1 July Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online

World number four Novak Djokovic had to dig deep to beat Donald Young 6-2 7-6 (11-9) in their Aegon International quarter-final at Eastbourne.

After taking the first set, the 12-time Grand Slam champion survived two set points before clinching victory.

The Serb, making a rare appearance in a pre-Wimbledon event, won through on his fourth match point.

"I am glad I overcame the challenge - it is exactly what I was looking for," said the 30-year-old.

Djokovic will play promising young Russian Daniil Medvedev, who beat American fourth seed Steve Johnson, in the semi-finals.

"It was a great first set and after that I had opportunities to break serve in the second and I didn't use them, he broke my serve at 4-4 and had set points," added Djokovic, who has struggled for form this year.

"It was a close second set and could have gone either way."

Djokovic, playing in his first pre-Wimbledon grass-court tournament for seven years, admitted earlier this week that 2017 had been his toughest year in tennis.

The former world number one held all four Grand Slam titles going into last year's Championships, but now holds none.

He suffered a surprise early exit to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon last year, then was beaten by Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka in the US Open final.

Djokovic was stunned by world number 117 Denis Istomin in the Australian Open second round in January, before losing in the French Open quarter-finals earlier this month.

He has dropped to fourth in the world rankings after a turbulent year in which he has won only one title and split with his coaching team.

Meanwhile, British number six Cameron Norrie, who has been given a wildcard into the main draw at Wimbledon, lost his rain-delayed third-round match at Eastbourne 6-3 6-2 to France's world number 16 Gael Monfils.

Monfils, seeded second, played his quarter-final against Australia's Bernard Tomic later on Thursday, showing no signs of fatigue as he eased to a 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 win.

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