28 September 2023
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Novak Djokovic advanced to the Tel Aviv semi-finals on Friday with a hard-fought straight-sets victory over Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

The top-seeded Serb won 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 in just under two hours against the 149th-ranked Canadian to maintain his perfect record in their six meetings.

“It was a great, positive win,” said Djokovic, who is playing a singles tournament for the first time since winning Wimbledon in July.

“Vasek is one of my best friends on the Tour. We have known each other for many years.

“It is never easy playing someone you respect so much and like so much, but we are both professionals and wanted to win the match and you can see that.

“I think the level of tennis was really high. Especially towards the end of the first set and the second set. Credit to him for fighting. Great to see him back.”

Djokovic, who has dropped to world number seven, had to fight in the first set before winning a tie-break 7-6 (7/5) in 59 minutes.

The 35-year-old Serb twice broke his rival’s serve in the second to keep his record of never dropping a set against the 32-year-old Canadian.

Djokovic next takes on 104th ranked Russian Roman Safiullin who beat France’s Arthur Rinderknech 6-4, 6-1.

Second seed Marin Cilic plays France’s…

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Abdul Gh Lone