January 20, 2021

Novak Djokovic advances, defending W&S Open champ Medvedev ousted – tennis



Solely a dozen unforced errors. Each shot crisp in windy circumstances. Prime-ranked Novak Djokovic had all elements of his sport working whereas advancing to the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open. Djokovic had no issues together with his creaky neck or the swirling winds throughout a 6-Three 6-1 victory on Wednesday over Jan-Lennard Struff that was by far his finest displaying of the week.

Up to now, no rust in any respect after the lengthy layoff from aggressive tennis.

“Every little thing was labored on within the final six months, I had loads of time,” Djokovic mentioned. “I labored on each single factor. It’s nice it’s paying off so early after the break.” Djokovic examined constructive for COVID-19 after exhibition matches he organized in Serbia and Croatia in June with no social distancing. In his match Monday towards Ricardas Berankis, Djokovic had his sore neck massaged twice by a coach throughout a 7-6 (2) 6-Four victory that included seven double faults. The neck has gotten higher, and so has his general sport.

“Proper now it’s not a priority,” he mentioned. “It’s nonetheless not 100 per cent but it surely’s near that. I’ve been gaining extra vary in my motion of the neck each single day, so no complaints.” Within the semifinals, he’ll face Roberto Bautista Agut, who knocked out defending champion Daniil Medvedev earlier within the day.

Medvedev failed to shut it out within the second set, and Bautista Agut rallied for a 1-6 6-Four 6-Three victory that eradicated yet one more high participant out of the tune-up match for the US Open. Djokovic is the one participant left within the match with an ATP Masters 1000 title to his credit score.

Medvedev led 4-Three within the second earlier than letting it slip away. He transformed solely 5 of 20 break factors within the match and swatted his racket towards the courtroom in frustration on the finish.

“Even within the third set I had my probabilities and didn’t take them,” Medvedev mentioned.

Bautista Agut reached his third Masters semfinal and his first since 2016. He wanted a set to regulate to the breezy, cooler circumstances on courtroom.

“It’s by no means simple to come back again and play good at first,” he mentioned. “I’ve to be affected person, to attempt to take pleasure in each single match I play right here after six months with out competing. Simply happy and joyful to be within the semifinals.” Medvedev hoisted the champion’s Rookwood Pottery cup final 12 months in Mason, Ohio, the place the match is held yearly. This 12 months’s occasion was moved to the US Open website in Flushing Meadows due to pandemic precautions, making a two-tournament occasion with out spectators.