Novak Djokovic charged into a record-equalling eighth Western & Southern Open semi-final on Wednesday, beating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-1.
The World No. 1 tied Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, Roger Federer and Bill Talbert’s semi-final totals at the ATP Masters 1000 event after 62 minutes, converting five of nine break points. Djokovic is seeking his second Western & Southern Open trophy after completing the Career Golden Masters at the event in 2018.
Most Western & Southern Open Semi-final Appearances
|Stefan Edberg||8||Roger Federer||8|
Djokovic is now two wins away from creating further history at the tournament. If the 33-year-old lifts the trophy on Friday, he will equal Rafael Nadal’s record haul of 35 Masters 1000 trophies.
“It was great. I started a little bit tight in my opening couple of service games… Ever since I made that break at the beginning of the first set, I never looked back,” said Djokovic. “I really played very aggressive whenever I had the chance and I was going for my shots.”
The 17-time Grand Slam champion’s unbeaten run now stands at 24 matches, which includes a 21-0 record this season. Djokovic is making his fourth ATP Tour appearance of the year, having lifted titles at the ATP Cup — as part of Team Serbia — the Australian Open and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Djokovic will attempt to reach his seventh Western & Southern Open final when he meets Roberto Bautista Agut in the semi-finals. The Belgrade-native leads Bautista Agut 8-3 in their ATP Head2Head series, but has lost his past three hard-court encounters against the World No. 12.
”We always expect Roberto to play on a certain level,” said Djokovic. “He doesn’t drop much. He doesn’t give it away. You have to earn your points. He is so solid from the back of the court… Roberto found a way [against Medvedev] and that is obviously a virtue of champions.”
The 79-time tour-level titlist fired a forehand passing shot winner and capitalised on a series of errors from Struff to break for a 3-1 lead in the first set. Djokovic held serve with confidence throughout the opener and converted his first set point with a powerful forehand down the line.
Djokovic moved up the court and took advantage of multiple double faults from Struff to race to a 5-0 lead. The 2018 champion failed to serve out the match, but claimed a love service break in the following game with a forehand winner to book his semi-final spot.