Fritz in bits as Djokovic romps into semi-final showdown with Hurkacz

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Top seed Novak Djokovic advanced to the semi-finals at the Paris Masters on Friday with a straight sets demolition of the American Taylor Fritz.

Djokovic, who is seeking a record-extending sixth title at the tournament, had not played since Tuesday night's three-set win over Marton Fucsovics.

The 34-year-old Serb had advanced to the last eight after Gael Monfils withdrew from their last 16 clash with a leg injury on Thursday.

And the rest appeared to have been beneficial as the world number one started with a flurry of points to claim his opening game and take Fritz's serve. But the American got back to 2-2.

Djokovic broke again to serve for the opener at 5-3. But he fluffed his lines.

Mistakes

Fritz, though, was as magnanimous allowing Djokovic to claim it 6-4 in 38 minutes.

Djokovic lost his serve at the start of the second set but hit straight back.

And he started to turn on the style. He reeled off three consecutive games to lead 5-2.

Though Fritz held his own serve, Djokovic finished off proceedings after 73 minutes with a slick serve-volley combination to notch up his fifth win over Frtiz in five meetings.

"I maintained my concentration which is not easy after two months away from competition," said Djokovic who had not played since his defeat in the final of the US Open in September.

On Saturday, Djokovic will play the seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz after his three-set win over the unseeded Australian James Duckworth.

Hurkacz swept through the opening set 6-2.

Fight

But Duckworth dug in and started to test Hurkacz’s mobility and patience with slices to his backhand.

The tactic helped to bring him the second set in the tiebreak and the decider appeared to be heading the same way but Hurkacz profited from a lucky bounce on his third match point to lob his stranded opponent.

The 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 victory brought a double first for the 24-year-old Pole: a semi-final appearance in Paris and the men’s season ending championships in Turin.

“It’s crazy to get there,” said Hurkacz. “James was playing really well and knowing that I had to win to get to Turin increased the pressure. I’m really pleased.”

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