Novak continued his run at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

World no.1 Novak Djokovic is into a record-breaking 77th ATP Masters 1000 semis!

The 36-year-old Serbian star produced an up and down performance in a tight clash on Friday afternoon, but he beat Australian Alex de Minaur, the no.11 seed, 7-5, 6-4, to reach his first semi-finals at the Monte-Carlo Country Club since 2015.

Novak took the opening set, breaking his opponent in the 12th game. The players had traded breaks three times in the second set, before the top seed converted his chance in the 10th game for the triumph.

“It was tough for both of us. He is one of the quickest players on Tour. He gets a lot of balls back that normally 99 per cent of other players don’t. He did not surprise me with several passing shots. Particularly in the second set when I was up a break,” Djokovic said. “But he said at the net it was ugly. The second set I think it was. We didn’t play at the high level and made a lot of unforced errors, him and I, and a lot of breaks of serve. It is kind of expected on clay but maybe not this many. But a win is a win and I am happy to be through.”

Match statistics: aces (2-3), double faults (1-4), winners (13-19), unforced errors (26-28), total points won (73-62).

Novak’s opponent in the Monte Carlo semifinal will be Casper Ruud (NOR, 8) who defeated Ugo Humbert (FRA) 2-1.

Novak and Ruud have faced each other five times before. Novak has won all five matches without dropping a set.

The semifinal match is scheduled for Saturday around 15.30 CET.

“I am very happy to be back in the semis. It has been a while,” Djokovic said. “I love this tournament. I love this club as well, I have been training at this club for many years. The past seven, eight years has been tough for me to win seven or eight matches consecutively, but here we are, another semis and I look forward to it.”

Photo: Profimedia

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