Fourth seed Novak Djokovic powered into his sixth semi-final of the season on Friday by defeating Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-3 at the Astana Open.
Novak served exceptionally well throughout the match. He won 85% of points on his first serve (29/34).
The Serbian star capitalised on three of his five break point chances against the big-serving Russian, and saved one of the two break points he faced en-route to a one hour, 28-minute victory.
“I didn’t play as well from the baseline as I did in the first two matches, but still it was enough,” said Djokovic. “I managed to produce some good tennis when it was the most needed in both sets.”
Match statistics: aces (3-2), double faults (1-4), winners (15-13), unforced errors (9-27), total points won (65-45).
Novak holds a 6-4 lead against his semi-final rival Daniil Medvedev. The second seed from Russia defeated Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets 6-1, 6-1.
Looking ahead to the challenge, Nole said: “I’m expecting a physical battle. I know that I have to be ready to play very long points. Hopefully, I can serve well. That’s going to be important. I know he’s going to serve really well, he’ll have some free points on his first serve. Going to try to get some returns in play, make him play, make him uncomfortable. I know the tactics, but I don’t want to talk about it too much in the media – save it for the match.”