Novak Djokovic continued his dominant run of form on his return to the ATP Tour with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff to reach a record-equalling eighth Western & Southern Open semi-final.
Djokovic is playing on the Tour for the first time since the season was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the world number one's latest win improved his record to 21-0 in 2020.
The 17-time grand slam champion and top seed was utterly dominant as he advanced to book a last-four meeting with Roberto Bautista-Agut, who earlier upset defending champion Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic tied Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, Roger Federer and Bill Talbert's semi-final totals at the ATP 1000 tournament following his 62-minute victory.
Eyeing his second Western & Southern Open title, Djokovic stepped on the accelerator in the fourth game of the first set and broke for the first time when Struff went long with a wayward backhand in New York, where the event is being held instead of Cincinnati due to COVID-19.
That was enough to take the opener, but the Serbian was soon on top in the second as Struff missed with a wild shot in the first game.
The German grew increasingly frustrated as he scrambled after a drop shot and failed to make the return to fall 4-0 down, then handing Djokovic the fifth with a point penalty as he smashed the ball into the stands.
Djokovic's first sloppy game of the match belatedly gifted Struff a break when serving for the match, yet a devastating forehand winner down the line clinched a final break to love and victory.
Published 27 Aug 2020, 03:08 IST