The world number one defeated the Pole Hubert Hurkacz, who was playing in place of the injured Stefanos Tsitsipas, after 2:04 hours with 7:6(1), 4:6,6:1. The 36-year-old Serb only reached the semi-finals because Vienna champion Jannik Sinner then won his third game in the green group – with 6:2.5:7.6:4 against the Dane Holger Rune.
Sinner used his first match point after 2:32 minutes of play, allowing Djokovic to breathe a sigh of relief after defeating him in a 3:09-hour thriller in three sets on Tuesday. Djokovic is in the semifinals of the “Masters” for the twelfth time. For Sinner, however, it is a first. The South Tyrolean is the first Italian in the event’s 54-year history to make it to the final four.
Although his promotion was already certain before his own game, Sinner also prevailed against Rune in his final group game. That particularly pleased Djokovic. If Rune had won, he would have left the tournament early. The Serb had put himself in this situation.
“Why, I lost a sentence?”
During the TV interview with “Sky”, Djokovic was visibly irritated because he was asked why he was angry after losing the second set against Hurkacz. “Why, I lost a sentence?” Afterwards, Djokovic just wanted to say “good win” about the match and left. The background was probably this: If Djokovic had won in two sets, a Rune victory over Sinner would have brought him even further under certain circumstances. In the end he had to hope for the South Tyrolean and his sporting spirit – and he was lucky.
Daniil Medvedev has so far been confirmed as one of the two newcomers in the red group. If the Russian also wins against the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz on Friday, the German Olympic champion Alexander Zverev also still has a chance of promotion. With help and a win against Russian Andrej Rublew, who has already been eliminated, Zverev would be in the semi-finals.
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