Former world number one Novak Djokovic won his second match of the day on Friday to set up a semi-final clash at the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters with Marin Cilic.
Djokovic, a five-time finalist here who has never broken through, is aiming to lift the trophy at the only one of the Masters 1000 series events that he has never won.
The Serb tenth seed followed up a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 third-round defeat of holder Grigor Dimitrov earlier in the day of a rainy week by beating Milos Raonic 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
It was the ninth win without a loss for Djokovic in the series with the Canadian.
“I’ve played five finals here, so that’s pretty OK,” Djokovic said. “But I do wish to win the title, without a doubt.
“I’m here to enjoy a sport that I love, I’ve got plenty of motivation.
“I’m in a good position, so I’ll take it step by step.”
Djokovic had to come from behind in the first and third sets, and helped seal the victory with a break for 5-3 in the third.
“Milos is one of the best servers in the game,” Djokovic said. “Just a few points decided the winner.
“It’s tough to play against someone serving so big.
“I was fortunate to read his serve on several occasions. I must be very pleased with fighting spirit and staying mentally tough to overcome deficits in both matches.”
Cilic put out Spanish 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 (9/7), 6-4.
“I haven’t played any matches on the centre court. I feel and I heard that it’s completely different. It’s much faster,” Cilic said.
“Definitely Novak is playing really well. His level was definitely high and he’s in definitely really good form.
“We played tough match in Queen’s, but that’s grass and definitely different. So I have to get ready and give it a full shot.”
Novak Djokovic (SRB x10) bt Milos Raonic (CAN) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
Marin Cilic (CRO x7) bt Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x13) 7-6 (9/7), 6-4
Novak Djokovic (SRB x10) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x5) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Marin Cilic (CRO x7) bt Karen Khachanov (RUS) 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-4
David Goffin (BEL x11) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA x6) 6-2, 6-4
Juan Martín Del Potro (ARG x4) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS x15) 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (6/8), 6-2
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) bt Márton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-4, 6-3
Roger Federer (SUI x2) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 6-1, 7-6 (8/6)
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