Madrid Open 2022 – Novak Djokovic defeats Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets to advance to the semi-finals

Novak Djokovic’s preparations for his French Open title defense continue to gather momentum as he leapfrogged Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets to book a place in the last four at the Madrid Masters.

The world No. 1 looked sharp and in tune as he roared to a 6-3 6-4 victory to reach the 72nd Masters 1000 semi-final of his career.

Djokovic improved to 7-3 for what has been a troubled 2022 season so far and will next meet either Rafael Nadal or Carlos Alcaraz after improving his head-to-head record against Hurkacz to 4-0.

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Speaking to Amazon Prime after reaching his first Masters 1000 semi-final of the year, Djokovic said: “I’m enjoying this year more than previous years due to the circumstances of everything. Look, I still feel motivated to play and be competitive on the court, competing with most of the youngsters. Obviously there is a change of generation, but the old ones, we are still here. We are guys with experience trying to change them. run on the pitch. One thing is for sure, I will definitely play as long as I like.”

Reflecting on what turned into a routine quarter-final success, he added: “In the first set we both didn’t play very well, there were a lot of unforced errors. took both of us time to really adjust and adapt to the conditions because it was also different from the other days. In the second set there was a better quality of tennis.

“I was serving really well in the second. It really kept me alive. He was serving well too. I was happy with how I was building the point, trying to get him to run and overall it was a solid performance. You have to adapt and accept the circumstances and make the most of it.”

Djokovic, who received an upset in the previous round due to Andy Murray’s illness, rarely seemed troubled in what turned out to be a disappointing and one-sided first set.

Hurkacz appeared oddly nervous and compounded a very elusive start with a double fault and a loose backhand that allowed the 20-time Grand Slam champion to break and roar to take a 3-0 lead.

The Polish No.12 seed finally found his service rhythm but paid the price for giving the Serbian seed a head start as Djokovic stayed quiet to win the opener in just 33 minutes.

Hurkacz, playing in his third consecutive Masters 1000 quarter-final, survived a break point in the opening match of set 2 with some tennis, but his propensity for unforced errors returned soon after. by giving the initiative to Djokovic. The Serb didn’t have to do much to take a 3-2 lead and continued to play with real authority until a slight wobble in the eighth game. Hurkacz pushed the three-time Madrid champions to two but couldn’t carve out a break opening.

The world No.14 then fought off two match points against his own serve before Djokovic served him for his fourth chance to comfortably reach the semi-final in the Spanish capital for the first time since 2019.

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