Djokovic battles through to Qatar semi-finals


Novak Djokovic's unbeaten run at the Qatar Open is over after the world number one was beaten 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 by Roberto Bautista Agut in Friday's semi-final.

Novak Djokovic can now exclusively focus on the singles tournament and a semi-final clash with Bautista Agut, who defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4 6-4 and is still yet to drop a set at the tournament.

"I wish him all the best for the rest of the season", Djokovic said during his post-match on-court interview.

Djokovic played two matches every day in Doha prior to his defeat on Friday afternoon, spending close to ten hours on court. I know it's hard to play at this level.

He added that his immediate aim was to "be fresh" and then win as many matches "as I can" in Melbourne at the Australian Open.

The shock result breaks a run of five consecutive finals reached by Djokovic, who had also won 13 matches in a row in Doha.

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'What happened? I lost the match. Novak was up and it was tough. "He has a very physical style of Tennis which obviously is putting a lot of load and pressure on his joints, on his knees". He was very solid and I had to play very good tennis.

Everything looked to be going to plan for Djokovic when he took the opening set in less than 40 minutes, however his opponent grew in confidence and went on to secure a first win over the Serbian since 2016.

Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut overcame a mid-match scare to overcome Tomas Berdych 6-4 3-6 6-3 in the Qatar Open final on Saturday for his ninth career title. He hasn't dropped a set this week.

A fired-up Djokovic smashed his racquet after dropping his serve in the eighth game of the second set.

As he had in the previous set, Djokovic broke Basilashvili in his first service game only for the world number 21 to muster an immediate response as he reeled off seven points in a row. "In conditions like this, it's quite suitable to him", Djokovic said of Bautista Agut.