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Novak Djokovic Powers Through To Japan Open Final


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World number one Novak Djokovic on Saturday cruised into the Japan Open final, thrashing David Goffin 6-3, 6-4.

In the final, Djokovic will face Australian qualifier John Millman, who squeezed past American opponent Reilly Opelka 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

The Serbian star dominated his semi-final, starting strong by winning the first three games, picking up an early break while fending off fierce attempts by the Belgian to fight back.

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Djokovic again picked up an early break in the second set and survived all the four breakpoints through the match.

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“I think we both served extremely well and precise, not too much chance for returners,” he said in a press conference. “Even though it was a two-set win, the quality of tennis was quite high.”

Djokovic won points on 87 percent of his successful first serves and never committed a double fault in the roughly 90-minute contest.

Goffin fought bravely, but Djokovic kept up the pressure with deep shots and quick footwork to fend off any threat.

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“I trained with ninjas before this tournament,” Djokovic quipped, when asked about his apparent omnipresence on the court, during a post-match interview in front of cheering Japanese fans.

“This has been a wonderful week for me on and off the court,” he said. “Hopefully I will be able to crown this week with a trophy tomorrow.”

In the final, he will face the 80th-ranked Millman, who is making his first career appearance in the final of an ATP 500 event.

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Millman predicted “a lot of baseline exchanges” with “one of the greatest players” of all time.

“It will be a physical battle. I will probably be the underdog, coming through qualifying. I know back home in Australia, we all like underdogs,” he said.

“I hope to bring my best tennis, a physical brand of tennis, and really just give it all for one more match. That’s all I want to do.”

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