Cincinnati Tennis: Novak Djokovic beats Pablo Carreno Busta and reaches the quarterfinals of Cincy | ATP tour

All but one of the eight best seeds at the Western & Southern Open did not make the quarter-finals in Cincinnati. But top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic remains.

The Serb won his eighth game in a row in Cincinnati and improved to 3-0 on Thursday against former No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta. He prevailed 6: 3, 6: 4 at the ATP Masters 1000 and reached the last eight .

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“I don’t think the score indicates how difficult it was on the pitch. We fought. I think I served really well. That was probably the best shot in the game for me today, over 70 percent of my first serves . ” I have problems in the second set when I was facing breakpoints, “said Djokovic.

“I thought he was very solid. I’ve played him a couple of times and seen him play and I knew what quality he was, but he surprised me from behind with his aggressiveness. A bit softer as soon as he got one on my side, he tried both the forehand and the backhand. “

Djokovic fell in love in the sixth game of the opener. Carreno Busta had four breakpoints in the second set but Djokovic saved them all and won his crucial break in game three, a 13-point affair.

The 32-year-old will next face Frenchman Lucas Pouille in a rematch of the Australian Open semi-finals in January, which was an outright win for Djokovic. Pouille defeated Karen Khachanov from Russia 6: 7 (3), 6: 4, 6: 2 and thus reached his third quarter-finals – and the first at the Masters 1000 level – of the season. It is Pouille’s third Masters 1000 quarter-finals and the first since 2017 in Monte-Carlo.

“It’s been a while … I’m just very happy to be in the shape I am in to reach the quarter-finals,” said Pouille.

The Frenchman started the year with his best Grand Slam result, but has been struggling with consistency since Melbourne. He is 15-15 in the season.

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