Novak Djokovic reached his tenth consecutive final after a roller-coaster 4-6,7-6(5),6-2, encounter against world No.66 Alexandr Dolgopolov. The below-par world number one was in trouble against an inspired Dolgopolov at the start of the match as he was broken twice to lose the opening set.
It was apparent that the Serbian was in discomfort, which prompted him to call a doctor onto the court during the early part of the second set. Djokovic complained of an abdominal problem in which he experienced pain whilst serving.
Irregardless of the issue, Djokovic started to regain control of the match in the second set as he broke to lead 5-3. The lead was, however, swiftly evaporated as Dolgopolov broke back to love with the help of some sensational shots to force proceedings into a tie-break.
The Ukrainian was two points away from grabbing the shock victory, but buckled under the pressure as Djokovic dug deep to take the tie-break. The vital tie-break win, enabled Djokovic to get the vital momentum back into his game.
Despite the form remaining below his usual standard, the top seed dealt Dolgopolov a double blow in the final set as he broke him twice to cruise to take the win after enduring some uncomfortable moments on the court. During the match Djokovic produced a shocking 40 unforced errors compared to just 14 winners.
The win keeps the Serbian on course to win his first title in Cincinnati. The tournament remains the only Masters 1000 title, which Djokovic hasn’t won.
Following his win, Djokovic admitted that he was disappointed with his form and put the win down to his 'fighting spirit'.
"Today I was just winning with a fighting spirit, that’s all. I don’t think I played too good. But credit to Alex. He was very close to winning this match. I stayed tough and always believed I could pull it out.”. He said.