Saturday, January 28, 2023

Djokovic topples Rublev to enter Australian semifinals

Two steps. Two games remain Novak Djokovic to win his tenth Australian Open and equal 22 Grand Slams with Rafael Nadal. This Wednesday he added his 26th consecutive victory in Melbourne (he has not lost since 2018), equaling André Agassito overcome Andrei Rublev by 6-1, 6-2 and 6-4.

The Serbian champion will be next Friday in his 44th Grand Slam semifinal, only surpassed by Roger Federer, retired last year, who reached the penultimate round 46 times. They are figures of someone who wants to be recognized as the best tennis player in history. At 35 years old, Djokovic he doesn’t want to miss out on the scenario he plays best.

win to Rublev (6 world) as he did allows him to trust his options, despite those discomforts in his left leg that he drags. His next rival will be the American tommy paul (35 world) who will play his first semifinal in a Grand Slam after beating his compatriot Ben Shelton by 7-6 (6), 6-3, 5-7 and 6-4. The other two tennis players who could prevent Djokovic from his mission are Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) or Karen Khachanova (20) who, also this Friday, will meet in the other semifinal.

intense and dominant

As in the previous match against Alex DeMinaurthe former world number 1 started launching to put pressure on a rival who, like the Australian, although with more punch, is a specialist in long battles. Djokovic broke the service of Rublev on two occasions (3-1 and 5-1) to sign up for the first round in 39 minutes. His effectiveness in the serve (5 ‘aces’ and 78% of first serves) and in the rest (10 winners) allowed him to take control of the game on a windy day that bothered him a lot.”I had to adapt to conditions that They are not the best to play tennis”, he said after the game Djokovic.

Djokovic also took the second set with a clear score, giving up only two games, but being more irritable and uncomfortable on the track due to weather conditions. He also achieved two ‘breaks’ (3-2 and 5-2 but he needed more than 7 minutes and 5 set balls, before winning it.

Thanks to your physio

In the third Rublev gave up his kick-off and Djokovic took a lead that he would not let escape, despite Rublev’s fight, until he won the game in 2 hours and 8 minutes, in the first ‘match ball’ he arranged. Rublev, for the seventh time in a Grand Slam, says goodbye in the quarterfinals that he has never been able to overcome. Djokovic, every time he has reached the semifinals in Melbourne, he has won the title.

He smiled when the former world number 1 told him on the track, Jim Courier, who interviewed him. A Paul He knows him from seeing him in the locker room, he has never faced the American. Djokovic He wanted to thank the work of his physio who had a birthday, like his mother the day before, to whom he sang ‘happy birthday’ accompanied by the 15,000 fans who filled the center, presided over by the legendary Rod Laver. “If he worked for him these 10 days, he wouldn’t be here today,” she said.

Paul, next opponent

Djokovic will face in the semifinals the Paul (35 world) who defeated his young compatriot, 20 years old, Shelton (7-6 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4), in the first match for both on center court at a Grand Slam. Paul, 25, imposed his greatest experience before the son of the tennis player Brian Sheltonwho in Australia was playing his first game outside the United States.

Paulexecutioner in the previous game of Roberto Bautista, he had only won six Grand Slam matches in his career that began on the circuit in 2015. He did not adapt to the format or the harshness of those tournaments. But, after reaching the fourth round at last Wimbledon, he has already won 10 matches, reaching the third round at the last US Open and the semifinals, now, in Australia.

“I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far,” he said. Paul that, with this result, has already earned a place in the ‘top20’. Shelton For his part, he will appear in the ‘top50’ when only a year ago the 568th in the world appeared.

Linette, keep surprising

The Polish woman has also come out of nowhere in the women’s draw Magda Linette (45) continues to surprise and earned her ticket to the semifinals after beating the Czech Karolina Pliskova (31), finalist at Wimbledon (2018) by 6-3 and 7-5. The 30-year-old Polish tennis player will face the Belarusian in the penultimate round of the tournament Aryna Sabalenka (5) who beat the Croatian Dona Vekic (64) by 6-3 and 6-2.

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