Tournament: US Open 2016
Date: 9 September, Friday
Time: 3am SGT (Saturday)/12:30am IST (Saturday)/8pm BST
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York
Australia: Fox Sports 4
India: Ten Sports
South Africa: SuperSport
Live Updates: Live Scores can be tracked on US Open's official website
Gael Monfils faces an uphill task against Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of 2016 US Open on 9 September.
The Frenchman, who overcame his compatriot Lucas Pouille in straight sets in the last-eight match that lasted little over two hours, will have to take on the world number one, who is in the semi-final in New York for the 10th consecutive year.
Djokovic has hardly been tested in the ongoing tournament en route to the semi-final. His second round opponent Jiri Vesely retired after an arm injury while Mikhail Youzhny opted out of the match after just six games in the third round. In Thursday's quarter-final, it was Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's turn to retire with a knee injury after conceding the first two sets.
There are no chances of fatigue affecting the top seed as he has played only nine completed sets at the Flushing Meadows in 2016. On the other hand, Monfils has played 15 sets to reach his first semi-final since his 2008 French Open last-four appearance.
Monfils, who is known for his on-field theatrics, has worked his way to the last-four stage with an array of disciplined performances. The 30-year-old has not dropped a set yet over his last five rounds. He is happy about the two-day rest he gets before his clash with Djokovic.
"You know, I have two days to recover to play my first semis here. I'm more than happy. I'm happy where I am now, so I gonna prepare great for my match," Monfils was quoted as saying by US Open's official site.
Speaking of his semi-final opponent, whom he has never beaten in their 12 meetings, Monfils added: "He is better player than me, definitely. I think I have no shame to say it. He is better than me. I have a second opportunity to get to my first slam final, and the opportunity to maybe beat him for the first time in the main tour, to beat the world number one."
Djokovic though is not concerned about the lack of match practise. He dropped a set in the opening round against Jerzy Janowicz but has hardly faced any challenge from thereon. After winning the first two grand slams in 2016, the Serb lost out on the Wimbledon and Rio Olympic titles.
However, the 12-time grand slam winner is hopeful of ending the season by adding another title to his famous trophy cabinet. Djokovic also acknowledged the much improved showing of Monfils ahead of their semi-final clash.
"He [Monfils] seems more focused at this time of his career. Especially on the hard court this year maybe he is playing the best tennis he ever played. He is very consistent. He hasn't dropped a set till semis. That says a lot about the level he is on," Djokovic said after his quarter-final win on Thursday.
While the defending champion looks set to progress in the tournament, an upset on Friday shouldn't surprise many given the brilliant run Monfils has had in the ongoing tournament.