Nole is through to the ATP 500 event final.

Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev met for the 11th time in a highly anticipated semi-final match at the Astana Open on Saturday.

The two players were level at one set apiece, 4-6, 7-6 (6), before the second seed decided to pull out due to a leg injury.

There were three consecutive breaks of serve in the first set, two of them belonging to Medvedev, who converted his only two break opportunities. Serving at 5-4 he raced out to 40/0 and took the set on his second opportunity.

There were no breaks of serve in the second set and it came down to a tie-break. Novak won it 8-6 to level the contest, then Daniil surprisingly retired injured.

“I really hope that his injury is nothing too serious,” said Djokovic. “It was such a close match, particularly in the second set. I would probably say he was a better player on the court in both sets. I was fighting and trying to find a way. I found a way to win the second, but I’m just sad for the tournament and for these people who were enjoying the battle, and for Daniil that it had to end this way.”

Match statistics: aces (3-9), double faults (0-2), winners (27-26), unforced errors (25-11), total points won (62-70).

Novak will now aim to seal back-to-back titles in Sunday’s final (12.30 CET) against no.3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas (H2H record 7-2). The Greek was a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 winner against Andrey Rublev.

Should he back up last week’s Tel Aviv championship run with a second consecutive title and 90th overall, Djokovic will qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

Photo: Astana Open

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