Novak Djokovic chases ultimate glory and second Career Golden Masters in Cincinnati

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Novak Djokovic chases ultimate glory and second Career Golden Masters in Cincinnati

World no. 1 and the 34-time Masters 1000 champion Novak Djokovic is chasing another title at this level in Cincinnati. Leading the draw of the first ATP event following the coronavirus outbreak, Novak had passed four obstacles to find himself in the title match, matching Rafael Nadal's record of 51 Masters 1000 finals.

The Serb is facing Milos Raonic in the title clash, hoping to beat the Candian for the 11th time in as many encounters and claim the second Career Golden Masters! In 2018, Novak became the first player with all nine Masters 1000 titles at this event, finally lifting the crown in Ohio after five finals lost between 2008-2015, earning a massive record that puts him away from his main rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

In his incredible career, Novak has set many Masters 1000 records since 2007, playing on a high level on hard, clay and indoor to become one of the most decorated players in this series with Rafael Nadal. Novak has won six trophies in Miami, five in Indian Wells and Paris, four in Rome, Canada and Shanghai, three in Madrid and two in Monte Carlo, hoping to add the second Cincinnati title to his tally and write history again against the Canadian.

In his first match since February and Dubai, Novak had neck issues against Ricardas Berankis, prevailing 7-6, 6-4 despite being a break down in both sets. The Lithuanian led 4-2 in the second, only to drop the last four games and propel Djokovic through.

In round three, there were no problems for the Serb, beating Tennys Sandgren 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 28 minutes, setting the quarter-final clash against Jan-Lennard Struff. Novak lost 14 points in nine service games, fending off all four break chances and keeping the pressure on the American's side of the court.

Sandgren couldn't match that, giving serve away thrice to send world no. 1 into the next round.

Novak is chasing the second Career Golden Masters in Cincinnati.

They both had 22 unforced errors, with Djokovic hitting five winners more and dominating more extended rallies (29-15) to forge the triumph and preserve energy.

In the quarters, Novak ousted Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour, delivering five breaks of serve and completely outplaying the German in the second to find himself in the last four. There, Novak had to give his best to remain on the title course, edging Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 after three hours.

The Spaniard played on a high level, winning the opening set and finding the energy to come back from 5-2 down in the decider. Bautista Agut rattled off four straight games, serving for the victory at 6-5 before Novak pulled the break back, dominating the tie break to win it 7-0 and set the title clash with Milos Raonic.