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Novak Djokovic Battles Past Basilashvili To Reach Doha SF

Novak Djokovic overcame Nikoloz Basilashvili in three sets to advance into the semifinals at the 2019 Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

The World No.1 rallied from a set down en route to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in one hour and 56 minutes on Thursday.

Basilashvili made an impressive start – breaking Novak twice to race to a 4-1 lead in the opening set. Novak fought back and got one break back, but the Georgian, with a love hold in the tenth game, sealed the first set 6-4.

Novak raised his level and earned an early break in the second set. The World No.1 consolidated his early break advantage and won the set 6-3.

After an early exchange of breaks in the third set, the two-times titlist in Doha made the decisive break in the fifth game to book a spot in the last four.

“I thought Basilashvili was playing terrific from the beginning. I expected him to,” Novak said in an on-court interview after the match. “I knew that he’s playing probably the tennis of his life in the past 10 months, and he’s definitely one of the greatest hitters in the game.”

For a place in the final, the World No.1 will face Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday.

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