Novak Djokovic updates his neck pain status ahead of Cincinnati quarterfinal



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Novak Djokovic updates his neck pain status ahead of Cincinnati quarterfinal

No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic says his neck has gotten better as he is aiming to win it all at the Cincinnati Masters in the first tournament of the ATP season restart. The Serb had no problems against local player Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday, beating the American in straight sets 6-2 6-4.

Earlier in the tournament, Djokovic pulled out of his doubles clash with fellow compatriot Filip Krajinovic due to a neck pain. After a first-round bye in singles, the world No. 1 Djokovic handed a straight-set defeat to Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis.

"I'm as close to [being] painless [in my] neck as I can be," Djokovic said after beating Sandgren in straight sets, per the ATP website. "I'm feeling very good and that has obviously positively reflected on my game today."

Djokovic plays next Jan-Lennard Struff

World No. 34 Struff caused an upset in the round-of-16 as he edged out seventh-seeded David Goffin 6-4 3-6 6-4 to set up a Cincinnati quarterfinal clash against Djokovic. Struff lost his service in the opening game of the third set but recovered to beat world No.

10 Goffin. "It was a tough one, very close one again. The conditions were very hot again. Yesterday I thought it was a bit worse, the conditions, but David is a very tough player,” Struff said. “I had some chances, he had some chances… the last game was really good”.

Struff broke 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up Goffin in the 10th game of the third set to claim a big win. "I played some good tennis early on [against Top 10 players] as well, but I lost the matches most of the time,” Struff said.

“That gave me a bit of experience how it is to be on court with them… I played good tennis [today] and I’m very happy to get another Top 10 win”. Struff is now set to clash against 17-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic for the fourth time in his career as he aims to beat the Serb for the first time in his career.

At this year's Australian Open, eventual champion Djokovic needed four sets to beat Struff 7-6 (5) 6-2 2-6 6-1. "It will be very nice. I played him at the Australian Open, which was a very good match, I think, a very good match for me," Struff said. "I would love to play him again”.