Novak Djokovic demolishes Lucas Pouille to reach Cincinnati semifinals
Novak Djokovic worn out Lucas Pouille after a first set, dispatching French 7-6 (2), 6-1 in a Cincinnati Masters quarterfinals in Ohio on Friday.
The match was much closer than when the couple met in the semifinals of the Australian Open in January, when Djokovic conceded only four games before winning the title.
It took Djokovic almost an hour to prevail in the first set, but he closed a unilateral tiebreaker with a skilful reverse pass shot.
The second was the one-way traffic, as the world's number one played with relentless efficiency against an opponent who ran out of answers.
Perhaps the only concern for Djokovic with the US Open coming in less than two weeks was a pain in the elbow that required a brief treatment by his coach at the end of the game.
I managed to finish the game, I had a little strain on my elbow, but I hope everything is fine by tomorrow, Djokovic said in an interview on the court.
He will have less than 24 hours to recover for a semifinal against Daniil Medvedev, who continued his recent hot form, expelling Russian compatriot Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 in just one hour.
Medvedev, eighth in the classification of his career, only faced a breaking point.
He has reached two finals in the last two weeks, losing to Nick Kyrgios in Washington and Rafa Nadal in Montreal.
In another quarter-final action, Frenchman Richard Gasquet continued his return from groin surgery by defeating the eleventh Spanish seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-2. Gasquet, who defeated Andy Murray in the first round, organized a semifinal clash on Saturday with the 16th Belgian seed David Goffin.
Goffin advanced when his quarterfinal opponent, Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka, retired before his game on Friday due to illness.
Gasquet underwent groin surgery in January and returned to the competition in May.
I didn't play for six months, so it's great to be back here and reach the semifinals at age 33, Gasquet told ESPN in an interview on the court.
Goffin is a tough guy, one of the fastest from the baseline, so I'll be prepared to fight and fight.