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Australian Open: Djokovic dispatched Rublev, got into the semis and sang happy birthday to his mother

2023-01-25T12:02:42.309Z


He beat the Russian 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in just over two hours and remains steadfast in his goal of reaching Nadal's 22 Grand Slams.


Serbian star

Novak Djokovic

qualified for his tenth Australian Open semifinals on Wednesday after beating world number 6 Russian

Andrey Rublev

6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in just over two hours.

The American

Tommy Paul

(N. 35) will be the next opponent of a Djokovic who, whenever he has reached the semifinals of this Grand Slam, has left Melbourne with the title.

Forgotten his problems in his left leg, still under a cumbersome bandage, the Serbian was once again intractable at the Rod Laver Arena, the track where he wants to match the 22 Grand Slams of the Spanish

Rafael Nadal

on Sunday .

"I love playing in these conditions on this track. It's my favorite track," said "Nole", adding with a smile that he hopes to "continue" his spectacular run into the

Melbourne

semi-finals .

Somewhat physically insecure during the games of the first week, the Serbian showed from the outset that he was the Djokovic who just two days ago had run over the local idol Álex de Miñaur.

Novak Djokovic points to the sky and celebrates his victory against Rublev.

Photo: MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP.

Intractable on serve, with up to 14 'aces', the "Djoker" made life impossible for Rublev from the rest, responding to his powerful services and dragging him into long rallies that the Russian had a hard time winning.

Suffering, Rublev held his first serve,

but then succumbed

.

With 'deuce' and 2-1 on the scoreboard, he hit a forehand with the shaft of the racket and committed a double fault.

Two games later, he gave up serve again.

In the second set, Rublev refined his first serves, but he also quickly found himself down 0-40 at 2-2 that Djokovic did not miss, harassing his rival with deep shots that ended up sending a backhand into the net.

Andrey Rublev, another of Djokovic's "victims" in Melbourne.

Photo: DAVID GRAY / AFP.

Little did the Russian's reaction matter, with two break points in the following game.

With a final serve and reversing a rally that seemed lost, Djokovic saved them to the despair of Rublev, who complained to the judge about the time taken between serve and serve by the Serb.

Deranged,

he lost the next game with a double fault

and, although he let out his rage with several right lashes, he could no longer save the set.

"The score in the first two sets does not reflect the reality of the match," said Djokovic, who used a break early in the third set to hold his lead until the end.

Novak Djokovic's parents, Srdjan and Dijana, present at the Rod Laver Arena.

Photo: DAVID GRAY / AFP.

Last year, Nole was unable to compete in Melbourne after being deported from the country due to not having been vaccinated against covid.

The story is completely different this year, with a Djokovic who seems to be enjoying every game like never before, very relaxed but expecting what can happen in these two remaining games to make history and catch up with Nadal.

After beating Rublev, the Serbian dedicated the game to his mother, present in the audience with his father.

"It's his birthday," she told Jim Courier, the American in charge of interviews at the court.

With a smile, Djokovic joined the audience and sang "happy birthday" to Dijana.

She has two little steps left to give him the best gift possible.

With information from Agencies

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