Nole is one step away from third Cincinnati Masters title!

The Serbian star moved one win away from 95th career trophy, following a straight sets semi-final win over 2021 tournament champion Alexander Zverev on Saturday.

Second seed Novak Djokovic knocked out no.16 seed from Germany 7-6 (5), 7-5 to power into the Western & Southern Open final in two hours and four minutes.

Both players showcased a high-level performance in their 12th career meeting.

In an entertaining first set, with Novak leading 5-4, Zverev withstood a barrage of pressure from the 23-time major titlist, saving three break/set points to survive a 10-minute service game. Djokovic prevailed in a tie-break, converting his sixth set point to gain an advantage.

When Novak broke Zverev in the opening game of the second set, it seemed that might be all he’d need to secure the triumph. Although the 36-year-old Belgrade native was broken while serving for the match at 5-4, he quickly recovered to earn a break of his own, closing the thrilling contest in his following service game.

“In very few of his service games where I had chances, I played well, particularly five-all after he broke my serve to stay in the match,” Djokovic said. “I managed to bounce back, played a great game to break him again and seal the deal in the 12th game of the second set. “I’m pleased. There’s a few things I could’ve done better, but overall it’s a straight-sets win against a great player in form, so I’m really happy.”

Match statistics: aces (4-10), double faults (3-3), winners (19-20), unforced errors (29-37), total points won (83-77).

Novak will face top seed Carlos Alcaraz in the highly anticipated ATP Masters 1000 event final, on Sunday at 22:30 CET.

The Spaniard overcame a match point to beat Hubert Hurkacz (POL) in three sets.

“It’s amazing for the sport to have the number one and number two players facing each other in the final of a big event,” Djokovic said about the upcoming challenge. “This is what I guess everybody wanted and expected at the beginning of the tournament so here we are.”

Playing in his first tournament in the USA since 2021, Novak has not dropped a set all week. He is aiming for a record-extending 39th Masters crown.

Photo: Profimedia

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