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Djokovic overcomes neck injury scare on way to final

Reuters/New York
Filed on August 29, 2020
Novak Djokovic receives treatment to his neck during the semifinals against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut. -- Twitter

The 17-time Grand Slam winner edges Agut to set up title clash against Raonic

World No.1 Novak Djokovic overcame a sore neck and an early scare to defeat Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6 6-4 7-6(0) in the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open on Friday, setting up a showpiece match against Canadian Milos Raonic.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner fired off 14 aces to keep his 2020 unbeaten streak alive, extending his record to 22-0 with his latest victory at Flushing Meadows, which is temporary host to the fanless tournament amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

Djokovic, who has been struggling with a neck injury and received assistance from a tournament physio in the second set, held on to prevail in the third set as his opponent forced the match into a tiebreak.

He will next take on Raonic, who harnessed his monster serve to upset Greek world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(5) 6-3 in their semi-final clash, launching 12 aces and winning 90% of his first serves to earn a spot in his 22nd final.

The Canadian faces long odds to beat Djokovic, who has triumphed in all 10 of their previous meetings.

"I'm moving much better than I definitely have in recent years," he told reporters. "I'm able to play more on my terms and quicker in the points."

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