ATP Cincinnati: Novak Djokovic raises level to oust Tennys Sandgren



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ATP Cincinnati: Novak Djokovic raises level to oust Tennys Sandgren

World no. 1 and 2018 Cincinnati champion is through to his tenth quarter-final at this event and the 84th at the Masters 1000 series. Raising his level from the first match in New York, Djokovic toppled Tennys Sandgren 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 28 minutes, setting the quarter-final clash with Jan-Lennard Struff.

It was the 357th Masters 1000 victory for Djokovic and the 20th in 2020 from as many matches, looking sharp and producing incredible defense that left Sandgren empty-handed. Novak lost 14 points in nine service games, fending off all four break chances and keeping the pressure on the other side of the court.

Sandgren couldn't match that, giving serve away thrice to propel world no. 1 into the next round. They both had 22 unforced errors, with Djokovic hitting five winners more and dominating more extended rallies (29-15) to forge the triumph and stay on the title course.

The Serb barely lost a point in the opening three service games, forcing the American to repeat that if he wanted to stay in touch. Instead of that, Tennys got broken in the first game when his forehand landed long, allowing Novak to open a 2-0 lead with a quick hold in game two.

Sandgren got his name on the scoreboard in the third game when Djokovic landed a backhand long, with the Serb bringing the next game home at 15 to remain ahead. Tennys produced an excellent hold to stay within one break deficit, leading 30-0 in the seventh game before Djokovic grabbed four straight points to secure another break and increase the advantage.

Serving for the opener, Novak saved a break point after a backhand error from Sandgren, converting the third set point with a service winner for a 6-2 after 34 minutes.

Novak Djokovic defeated Tennys Sandgren in straight sets to reach quarters.

Tennys wasted numerous game points at the beginning of the second set, suffering a break and finding himself 2-0 down when Djokovic forced an error that confirmed the break for him.

Both players served well in the next five games, with Novak experiencing unexpected troubles at 4-3. Facing three break chances, the Serb repelled them all to keep his serve intact, creating no less than five match points on the return a few minutes later.

Tennys gave his best to prolong the action, repelling them all and reducing the deficit to 5-4 ahead of the return game that he had to win to stay alive. Instead of that, Novak converted the sixth match point with a forehand winner, moving over the top with a hold at love and securing the quarter-final berth.