Novak Djokovic reached the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open on Thursday with a 6-1 7-6 (7-2) win over Jeremy Chardy.
The Serbian world number one made light work of his French opponent on the clay in the first set but struggled in the second.
Djokovic saved set point at 4-5 with a fine serve, preserving his record of never having dropped a set against Chardy in 13 matches.
He went on to seal the tie-break with a forehand winner.
“I was set point down. It could have gone a different way,” said Djokovic, who won in Madrid in 2011 and 2016.
“I wasn’t really thinking about my score against him in that moment. I just wanted to play it well.
“The wind picked up in the second set. So, it was faster and you had to just pick a position sometimes and kind of rely on your instinct, and it worked well.”
Djokovic will face Marin Cilic on Friday, after the Croatian beat Laslo Djere 4-6 6-3 6-2.
Dominic Thiem also progressed with a 6-4 7-5 win over Fabio Fognini.
In the women’s tournament, Simona Halep reached the semi-finals with a 7-5 7-5 win over Ashleigh Barty.
Two-times Madrid Open winner Halep, the third seed, won consecutive points with down-the-line forehands to finish off her Australian opponent.
“To play in the semi-finals here is a very good result for me,” said Halep. “I enjoy playing here every time. I like the courts, I like the altitude. When I’m happy on court I can play my best tennis.”(dpa/NAN)