Djokovic started slowly and had 10 double-faults. After losing the first set in a tiebreaker, he had to save break points in his first three service games.
"It was an incredible struggle again," said Djokovic, who rallied to win for a third straight match. "Playing almost 3 hours against somebody who keeps the ball in the court in the rally for a long time. And, you know, it was very close."
Djokovic saved 13 out of 16 break points in all, and conceded no chances in the third set.
"My serve wasn't on the level that I wanted it to be. A lot of double-faults, a lot of breakpoints. That is something that I really don't want to have anymore," Djokovic said.
At least he didn't finish as exasperated as Baghdatis.
"What can I say? I lost the match that I had in my hands," Baghdatis said. "I'm really frustrated now. But it's not easy. I didn't take any of the opportunities I had. I was feeling good on court, moving well."
Seventh-seeded Youzhny achieved the only break in his semifinal against unseeded Melzer in the 11th game.
"It was a tough match. It was really close," Youzhny said. "I think Jurgen played really well today. He was aggressive."
Youzhny said improving the quality of his serve in the tiebreaker proved to be the difference.
"During the match it was so-so, but in the tiebreak, I served really good," he said.