NOVAK DJOKOVIC battled his way to a third straight US Open semi-final after overcoming a tough encounter with Fernando Verdasco, of Spain. Djokovic, seeded four, saved two set points in the first set before winning the opener on the tie-break. Verdasco stormed back to take the second set 6-1, but was eventually out-gunned out by the Serb, who went on to take the match 7-6, 1-6, 7-5, 6-2.