World number one Novak Djokovic had to come from behind once again to book his place in the semi-finals of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.
For the second day running, the Serbian fought his way back after losing the opening set, this time to Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili, before going through 4-6 6-3 6-4 to set up a last-four showdown with seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
Djokovic, who has now won 13 consecutive matches in Doha, told www.atptour.com: “I thought Basilashvili was playing terrifically from the beginning. I expected him to.
” 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.”
Agut earned his semi-final berth with a hard-fought 6-4 6-4 victory over 2008 finalist San Wawrinkain an hour and 45 minutes.
In the other half of the draw, wild card Tomas Berdych took only 71 minutes to dispense with Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2 6-4.
He will battle it out with Marco Cecchinato for a place in the final after the Italian made it past Dusan Lajovic 7-6(2) 6-2.
Top seed Kevin Anderson will have a chance to avenge his defeat by Gilles Simon in the final in Pune last year after booking a Tata Open Maharashtra semi-final showdown with the same opponent at this year’s event.