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Improving Djokovic cruises into Madrid semi-finals with win over Hurkacz

The world No 1 will now meet either Rafael Nadal or Carlos Alcaraz in the last four

Novak Djokovic QF Madrid Novak Djokovic, Madrid © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Mutua Madrid Open | Draw Order of play

Novak Djokovic took another step toward top form – and another Masters 1000 title – as he dismissed the challenge of world No 14 Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open.

The world No 1 looked much more like his normal self on a warm, sunny day in the Spanish capital, breaking once in each set to book his place in the last four and extending his perfect record against the Pole to 4-0.

He’ll meet either Rafael Nadal or Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals, the 72nd time he’s made that stage of a Masters 1000 event.

“The first set I think we both didn’t play so great, took us both time to adapt to conditions. Second set I think better quality tennis. I was serving really well. I am pleased with the way I was constructing the point.”

Beaten in the quarter-finals in Dubai, the second round in Monte-Carlo and runner-up in Belgrade, Djokovic has been improving steadily on the clay as he builds toward the defence of his Roland-Garros title later this month.

Hurkacz caused him some problems at times with his flat, powerful groundstrokes but two bad service games cost him dear; one for 2-0 in the first set and the other giving Djokovic a 3-2 lead in the second.

The Serb happily snapped up those gifts and with his serve working well – he didn’t face a single break point – he sealed victory after one hour, 21 minutes.

Djokovic said he was now looking forward to his next opponent.

“They’re the two best players this year, with the results they’ve had,” Djokovic said. “Rafa looks close to his best and Carlos is living the dream. It’s going to be a good match.”

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