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Defending champion and top-ranked Novak Djokovic defeated fifth seed David Ferrer 6-2, 7-6(1) to reach the Sony Ericsson Open semi-finals Thursday evening in Miami.

“He’s like a wall on the court. Gets a lot of balls back. He always makes you play an extra shot,” said Djokovic. “So that’s something that I was expecting. He was more than impressive, especially in his last match against del Potro. I needed to play well and aggressive and step into the court from the first point. That’s what I did.”

Djokovic controlled the majority of the clash and served for the match up 5-4, before Ferrer dug in to eventually force a tie-break. From there, Djokovic once again took command, converting a mini break to start, wiping away Ferrer’s comeback bid to advance in one hour and 53 minutes. He improved to 8-5 against the 29 year old, claiming his second victory over the Spaniard this season.

“He was better than me. He started really good,” Ferrer said. “In the important moments, I think I made too many mistakes. He played more consistent than me.”

The Serbian is aiming to win his third title at Crandon Park, having lifted his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy in 2007 (d. Canas). In the semi-finals, Djokovic will take on No. 21 seed Juan Monaco. The 24-year-old Djokovic has lost just one set to the Argentine in their four previous meetings.

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