|Appointment: July 23-August 8 Time in Tokyo: BST +8|
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Novak Djokovic remains on track for a ‘Golden Slam’ after ruthlessly putting an end to home hopeful Kei Nishikori’s dreams of advancing to the Olympic semi-finals.
The world number one, who wanted to become the first man to win all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal in the same year, won 6-2 6-0.
He will face Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the semi-final on Friday.
The Swiss Belinda Bencic and the Czech Marketa Vondrousova will face each other on Saturday in the women’s final.
Bencic outlived Kazakh Elena Rybakina 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 6-3 in a nearly three-hour game in the scorching heat of Tokyo, saving five set points in a 73-minute first set. ‘she won on a draw. Pause.
The Swiss then returned to the pitch to become the fifth player to reach the singles and doubles finals at the Games since tennis was reintroduced at the 1988 Olympics, as she and Viktorija Golubic beat Brazilian pair Laura Pigossi and Luisa. Stefani 7-5 6 -3.
Vondrousova, ranked 42nd in the world, had a much more serene stint as she followed his anger at Naomi Osaka shocking world number six Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-1 in just over an hour.
Thursday’s matches started at 3:00 p.m. local time (7:00 a.m. BST), four hours later than on previous days, after organizers agreed to postpone start times. following complaints from players on hot conditions.
There was little concern about the heat for Djokovic as it only took an hour and ten minutes to send Japan’s 2016 bronze medalist Nishikori, who made an increasingly desperate figure as his hopes of winning a medal for the host nation were dashed.
The victory tied another record for the Serbian, who tied Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in 20 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon last month, as he tied Switzerland’s 13 Olympic singles wins.
Djokovic, however, has never reached an Olympic final, and Zverev, 24, stands in his way, who produced a performance almost as impressive as the seed to defeat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-1 .
“Play after five [pm] is completely different. Obviously there is a bit of a breeze, ”said Djokovic, 34.
“It’s always very, very humid – you sweat a lot but you don’t have the heat, you don’t have the sun which, combined with the humidity, is just brutal. “
However, world number two Daniil Medvedev, one of the players who had raised concerns about the heat, was unhappy again after his 6-2 7-6 (7-5) loss in the quarter-finals to Pablo Carreno. Busta.
Medvedev left the pitch to change after the first set, as he did in Wednesday’s third round victory over Fabio Fognini.
“I changed everything I was wearing. I wanted to change my skin because I was sweating like I had never done before. It was terrible, ”said the Russian Olympic Committee player.
“I was wet as hell. I couldn’t throw the ball well, once I tossed the ball and got water in my eyes. It was not easy to play. “
Medvdev’s compatriot Karen Khachanov, who beat Frenchman Ugo Humbert 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-3, will meet Spaniard Carreno Busta in Friday’s other semi-final at Ariake Tennis Park.