© Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Five-time former champion Novak Djokovic beats Taylor Fritz on Friday for a place in the Paris semi-finals.

Djokovic To Play Hurkacz In Paris Semi-finals

World No. 1 aiming for sixth Paris trophy

Novak Djokovic continued his quest for a record 37th ATP Masters 1000 crown on Friday by reaching the Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals. The World No. 1 and five-time former champion overcame early resistance of American Taylor Fritz for a 6-4, 6-3 victory in 74 minutes.

“I was absent from the Tour for two months, coming into this tournament, and the last competitive match I played was in the US Open final, compared to the other guys playing one or two events prior to Paris,” said Djokovic. “I knew that I needed to start well, with good intensity and put in a lot of hours on the practice court. But it’s different when you play points in a competitive match."

"I am pleased with the way I played against [Marton] Fucsovics [in the second round] and today I did have ups and downs. I am not really pleased with the way I closed out the sets. I lost my serve to love [at 1-1], then [at] 5-3, again, I served for it with new balls and lost to love again. Those kind of things shouldn't happen, I know that. I backed myself up with good returns and read Taylor’s serve very well to get into rallies. I closed out the last couple of service games well and that’s a positive.”

Djokovic, who has won 46 of 52 matches in another standout season, will now prepare to meet seventh-seeded Pole Hubert Hurkacz, who clinched the last singles spot at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin later this month. The 34-year-old Djokovic is currently tied with Rafael Nadal on 36 Masters 1000 trophies.


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Djokovic’s athleticism helped him land a blow at 3-4 in the first set, and while Fritz’s shot-making helped him break back immediately, greater depth of stroke from his Serbian opponent clinched the 38-minute opener.

The pair exchanged service breaks at the start of the second set, and once Djokovic recovered from 15/40 at 1-1, his forehand started to do the damage. From 2-2, he kept his foot down to win 12 of 14 points and finished his fifth straight win over Fritz with a backhand volley winner.

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