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Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Netherlands' Tallon Griekspoor during their ATP 250 Geneva Open tennis tournament single quarter final match in Geneva on Thursday. Image Credit: AFP

Geneva: Novak Djokovic on Thursday booked his spot in the Geneva semi-finals, putting the world No 1 within two matches of his first title of 2024, days before his French Open title defence begins.

Djokovic saw off a first set challenge from Tallon Griekspoor to win 7-5, 6-1 in 77 minutes at the Parc des Eaux-Vives.

Griekspoor, the Dutch world No 27, was the sixth seed at the 28-man Geneva tournament, which serves as a final warm-up before next week’s second Grand Slam of the season on the Paris clay.

He had three set points against Djokovic in the first set.

“It was a great win. I thought the first set could have gone his way easily because I think he was a better player for most of the first set,” Djokovic said afterwards.

“We could have been having a completely different direction of the match if he converted those set points.

“I was lucky to find some really good serves, and from that moment onwards I really, really played some good, solid tennis.”

It was a bridge too far for Griekspoor, who earlier Thursday finished off his second-round match with Denis Shapovalov, beating the Canadian 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.

The match was called off for the night in the second set on Wednesday due to rain.

Djokovic has 1-0 record

Djokovic will face Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic in Friday’s semi-finals.

The pair have only met once before, with Djokovic winning their contest in Dubai last year.

Machac, the world No 44, will be appearing in his first semi-final on the ATP Tour.

He saw off 19-year-old Alex Michelsen of the United States 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) in their quarter-final on the Geneva clay.

Michelsen knocked out his third-seeded compatriot Taylor Fritz in the second round.

In Thursday’s other quarter finals, second seed Casper Ruud, who won the Geneva title in 2021 and 2022, was to face Argentinian fifth seed Sebastian Baez.

Alexandr Shevchenko faces Flavio Cobolli, who knocked out US fourth seed Ben Shelton.