Novak Djokovic’s wait for his first title of the year goes on. Laid low by a stomach bug and perhaps surprised by the quality of tennis produced by world No. 44 Tomas Machac, the Serb’s Gonet Geneva Open came to an end in the semi-finals on Friday.

The Czech won a remarkable, rollercoaster encounter 6-4 0-6 6-1. Djokovic led 4-1 in the opening set before losing five games in a row. He then turned the tables on this opponent by winning seven on the spin but contrived to lose the last six and with them the match, a clear sign that he was well below his best. “You can’t draw any conclusions from a match like that,” he later surmised, and rightly so.

In defeating the best player of all time, the 23-year-old Machac moved into his first ever ATP Tour final, a deserved outcome in a week in which he has played some superb tennis. The Czech has still to find out who he will face in Saturday’s final, with the second semi-final, between Casper Ruud and Flavio Cobolli, having been postponed to tomorrow morning on account of Friday evening’s unwelcome rain.

For the first time in the tournament’s history, then, a Gonet Geneva Open semi-final will be played on the same day as the final, though it is far from a first in the tennis world, such is the havoc that the weather can cause with tight tournament schedules. Whoever emerges triumphant from it will face the unenviable task of trying to win two big matches in just a few short hours.