World no.1 Novak Djokovic has made it through to the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open for the eighth time when he faced Jan-Lennard Struff on Wednesday.

The top-seed joined exclusive W&S Open Club. He shares record for most Cincinnati SF appearances with Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, Roger Federer and Bill Talbert.

Djokovic beat the 34th-ranked Struff in straights sets 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour, and now leads their ATP H2H series 4-0.

Novak sailed past the German with confidence, converting five of his nine break point chances, and saving two of the three break points he faced.

The 17-time Grand Slam titlist improved to a perfect 21-0 record on the season.

“It was great. I started a little bit tight in my opening couple of service games. Ever since I made that break at the beginning of the first set, I never looked back,” said Djokovic. “I really played very aggressive whenever I had the chance and I was going for my shots.”

Match statistics: aces (5-5), double faults (3-8), winners (17-11), unforced errors (12-27), total points won (59-35).

For a place in the Cincinnati Masters final, Novak will play Roberto Bautista Agut (on Friday), who rallied past defending champion Daniil Medvedev 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Djokovic leads their overall H2H 8-3, but the Spaniard has won their past three hard-court matches.

Looking ahead to the next challenge, the Serbian star said: ”We always expect Roberto to play on a certain level. He doesn’t drop much. He doesn’t give it away. You have to earn your points. He is so solid from the back of the court. Roberto found a way against Medvedev and that is obviously a virtue of champions.”

Nole is seeking his second Western & Southern Open trophy after completing the Career Golden Masters at the ATP 1000 event in 2018.

Photo: AP

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