The current world number one had to battle hard on Friday to make it through to the Qatar Open semi-finals against the Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

For the second consecutive time, the Serb had to recover from a set down and it took him two hours to get the best of Basilashvili.

Now, Djokovic will meet current world number 24, the Spanish Roberto Bautista in the semi-final, who beat three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka on Tuesday.

โ€œI thought Basilashvili was playing terrific from the beginning. I expected him to,โ€ Djokovic said. โ€œI knew that heโ€™s playing probably the tennis of his life in the past 10 months, and heโ€™s definitely one of the greatest hitters in the game.โ€

“I feel I have a gear or two (to go) up still,” said Djokovic.

“Under the circumstances, I managed to find a way to win against a player that is hitting the ball very fast and just being very aggressive and it’s hard to predict where the ball is going to go with a player like him.”

The Serb had a slow start to the match against the Georgian, losing his opening service game and then failed to recover the break. As a result, he went on to lose his first set of the match 6-4.

However, Djokovic was then able to come back and win the second and third set 6-3 6-4 to win and secure a semi-final spot in Doha.

The next opponent for the world number one, Bautista, is a man in form in Doha, having yet to drop a set since the start of the tournament.

Novak Djokovic 1.16 vs Roberto Bautista Agut 4.57

Having said that, Novak Djokovic still remains the ultimate favourite to win it in Qatar having won the tournament in 2016 and 2017. He has now won fifteen matches and lost only one from the last 16 matches he played in Doha.

berdych-qatar-open
Tomas Berdych beat the French Pierre-Hugues Herbert to make it to the Qatar Open semi-final. (Xinhua/Nikku)

In another of the quarterfinal matches, the Czech Tomas Berdych beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert in straight sets and will now meet the number 20 ranked Italian, Marco Cecchinato in the other semi-finals match.

Berdych will be looking to win against the Italian and secure a spot in the Qatar Open final for the second time after 2015 where he lost against David Ferrer.

Tomas Berdych 1.3 vs Marco Cecchinato 3.2ย 

 

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