Novak Djokovic surged into the semi-finals of the men’s singles at Tokyo 2020 with a comprehensive dismantling of Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
The Serbian top seed rarely looked troubled against the home favourite and raced to a 6-2 6-0 victory in just one hour and 10 minutes.
Djokovic will now meet Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the last four on Friday as he continues his quest to become the first man ever to win the Golden Slam.
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The 20-time major winner would need to add Olympic gold and the US Open crown to the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles he has already won in 2021.
He remains a heavy favourite to achieve the target and is now just one round away from the gold medal match.
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It was a bitter experience for Nishikori, who had hoped to produce an upset after showing glimpses of his old form coming into his home Olympics.
However, it was always a tall order for the world number 69 given he had only beaten the Serbian on two of their previous 18 meetings, with the last coming in a famous semi-final encounter at the US Open way back in 2014.
Djokovic made a fairly sluggish start on serve and Nishikori earned an immediate break point with a rasping crosscourt return. However, he couldn’t convert a volley on the stretch and the world number one didn’t look back from there.
Djokovic used the reprieve to charge through a couple of gears and once again demonstrated his famed defensive elasticity to force Nishikori to go too big on a wide forehand and cough up a break that would set the tone for the match.
The Serb consolidated with ease and went on to romp through the opening set, breaking again at 5-2 to take the opener in 40 minutes.
It was déjà vu at the start of the second set as a pair of double faults offered Nishikori another chance to break but Djokovic refused to buckle on the big points and roared as he swatted away the Japan star’s hopes.
The top seed then broke to pretty much squash Nishikori’s belief and rattled through the next four games to claim a second-set bagel on his third match point and lay down a real statement of his intent to return home with this title. He now takes on number four seed, Zverev, who downed Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-1.
Elsewhere in the men’s singles, ROC’s Daniil Medvedev was surprisingly beaten by Pablo Carreno Busta. The world number two went down 6-2 7-6 to the Spaniard, who will now meet ROC’s Karen Khachanov in the last four after he edged out France’s Ugo Humbert 7-6 4-6 6-3.
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