World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic continued his rich vein of form as he swept aside Lucas Pouille of France in straight sets to book his place in the semi-finals of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati on Saturday.
The Serbian tennis maestro took one hour and 26 minutes to register a 7-6(2), 6-1 triumph over Pouille in a thrilling quarter-final clash to advance to the last-four of this ATP Masters 1000 event for the seventh time.
The opening set began with Frenchman Pouille showing no signs of fear of going after Djokovic's relentless defence. He saved the only break point he faced to push the opening set into the tie-breaker, only to see himself making number of mistakes to hand the set to the top-seed player.
In the second set, Pouille was broken in his first service game before he gained three break points to get back on serve. However, Djokovic held his nerve to ultimately emerge victorious.
Following the win, Djokovic admitted that both of them held their service games quite comfortably, but his opponent missed a couple of forehand to cost himself the tie-breaker.
"I thought he played really well throughout the first set. We both held our service games quite comfortably until the tie-break and then I just stayed in there, very focussed, didn’t drop my level. He did. [He] double faulted and missed a couple of forehands and obviously that cost him the tie-break," the Association for Tennis professionals (ATP) quoted the Serbian star as saying.
Djokovic, who is just two win away from lifting his 34th Masters 1000 trophy, will look to cement his spot in the summit showdown of the tournament when he locks horns with red-hot Russian Daniil Medvedev.It is to be noted that Djokovic leads the ATP Head-to-Head series 3-1. However, Medvedev won the most recent meeting between the duo at this year's Monte Carlo Masters.