February 5, 2023

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Novak Djokovic reaches Australian Open semifinals with crushing straight sets win over Andrey Rublev

2 min read



CNN
 — 

Novak Djokovic continued his scintillating form at the Australian Open, brushing aside world No. 6 Andrey Rublev in straight sets to reach the semifinals.

It was yet another near-perfect display of tennis from the 35-year-old, as he continued his seemingly inevitable march towards a record-equaling 22nd grand slam with a 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory in just two hours and three minutes.

Djokovic is now playing arguably the best tennis of his career and has lost just 12 games over his last two matches, extending his winning run at the Australian Open to 26, tying Andre Agassi’s record.

The early signs were ominous for Rublev, who looked to still be feeling the effects of his five-set epic against Holger Rune, with the Russian broken in only his third service game.

It was a setback he never looked like recovering from, as Djokovic ran away with the match and took one step closer to winning a record-extending 10th Australian Open title.

“I would rank this win as No. 2 [this year], but very close to the performance of two nights ago,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “I could not be happier with my tennis. I’ve been playing very solid from the back of the court, I love playing in these conditions … this court, I’ve said it before, it’s the most special court for me.

“The scoreline in the first two sets doesn’t speak to the reality of the match, there were some close games we had. Andrey is a great opponent and great player, I have great respect for him. I knew what the gameplan was, but one thing is to imagine how you want to play and another thing is to execute on court. In the most important moments, I found my best tennis.

“I’ve tried about any bio feedback machine on this planet in order to get my leg ready, it worked and I’m going to keep going. I miss tennis on my days off, but it’s important to be smart and wise with the body in these particular circumstances where it’s more important to get ready for the next challenge.”

Djokovic will now face American Tommy Paul, playing in his first grand slam semifinal, for a place in Sunday’s Australian Open final.

“Obviously, he doesn’t have much to lose, first time in the semifinals of a grand slam,” Djokovic said. “He’s been playing some great tennis in the last 12 to 15 months … so I’ve got to be ready mentally, not approach it anyway differently to the last couple of matches.

“If I pay this way, I think I have a good chance to go through.”

More to follow…

2023-01-25 05:57:39

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