Novak Djokovic downed Karen Khachanov 6-4 6-3 for his 14th successive victory and a spot in the Astana Open semi-finals, with Daniil Medvedev winning 6-1 6-1 to defeat Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
Djokovic started the match well, taking an early 3-0 lead, but the Serbian started to make a couple of errors, shifting the momentum completely when it became 3-2.
Khachanov then had Djokovic on the back foot for a short spell of time, taking advantage of the longer rallies.
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He could not hold on to that momentum, though, and the Serb, now down at world No. 7, took the set 6-4.
For some reason though, Djokovic failed to stay calm despite being ahead and was noticeably frustrated with himself after being unable to convert a break point against Khachanov in the second game of the second set. He eventually pulled it off in the fourth, and a forehand winner that may have clipped the line gave him a 3-1 lead.
He continued to hold until he closed out the victory.
“I didn’t play as well from the baseline as I did in the first two matches, but still, it was enough," said Djokovic after the match.
"I managed to produce some good tennis when it was the most needed in both sets.”
Despite his frustrations, the win was yet another straight-sets victory for Djokovic, who has not dropped a set since returning from Tel Aviv last week.
He will be hoping that his struggles on Friday do not continue, and that will keep the streak going into the semi-final.
Djokovic will play world No. 2 Medvedev after his routine win. The pair will play the first semi-final before the second tie is settled.
“I am happy to play the right game, to be really solid and to do everything I can to make his life difficult and I am really happy to beat him,” Medvedev said. “I tried to mix it up as it is not easy to play against Roberto. I tried to mix it up and surprise him a little bit and it worked very well.”
The Russian conceded just 26 points over the course of 14 games, and was rarely troubled by his opponent.
The other semi-final will be between Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Similar to Djokovic, both players have yet to drop a set this week.
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