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Djokovic solves Monfils puzzle to reach US Open final

World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic celebrates beating Gael Monfils

World number one Novak Djokovic scrapped his way into the U.S. Open final for a seventh time on Friday with a confounding 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-2 win over enigmatic Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Often viewed as more showman than competitor, the 10th-seeded Monfils tested the patience of both Djokovic and the fans with a display of tennis that swung wildly from dynamic to indifferent.

With Monfils showing little interest and even less effort in dropping the opening two sets on a hot and muggy day, the unhappy Arthur Ashe Stadium fans voiced their displeasure as they showered the Frenchman with jeers and boos.

But when trailing 2-0 and a break down, the player who reached the semi-finals without dropping a set suddenly appeared as Monfils battled back to take the third set.

Djokovic will take on either Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka or sixth-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori in Sunday’s final in his bid to become the first back-to-back winner at Flushing Meadows since Roger Federer won four straight from 2004.

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