Djokovic beats Rublev to qualify for Australian Open semi-finals

The nine-time champion beat fifth seed Andrey Rublev

By Web Desk
January 25, 2023
Novak Djokovic will face — Twitter/Australian Open 

Novak Djokovic, a nine-time winner in Melbourne, defeated fifth seed Andrey Rublev to get to the Australian Open semi-finals on Wednesday.

Despite appearing agitated at times, Serbia's Djokovic defeated Russia's Rublev in Melbourne with a brutal 6-1, 6-2 and 6-4 victory.

As he pursues a record-equaling 22nd Grand Slam, former world number one Djokovic, who was the lone major champion in the men's quarter-finals, is the favourite to win the tournament.

His victory over Rublev marked his 26th straight victory at Melbourne Park, matching the streak set by American Andre Agassi during the Open era.

"I’ve been playing very solid, I love these conditions and this court, it’s very special. You have to make adjustments and adapt [to the breeze], you have to pick and choose your shots," the fourth seed reflected on the game.

"Overall, I think the scoreline in the first two sets doesn't reflect the match. We had some very close games. I knew what the game plan was. If I had to sum it up, on the most important points and shots, I found my best tennis," he added.

Meanwhile, Paul stopped Ben Shelton's unexpected streak to advance to his first major semi-final.

Paul defeated Shelton, a 20-year-old fellow countryman, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 5-7 and 6-4.

In the men's singles last four, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Karen Khachanov square off before Novak Djokovic locks horns with Tommy Paul — a first-time Slam semi-finalist.

Asked about facing Paul, the 21-time Grand Slam winner said: "He doesn’t have anything to lose, he's been playing some great tennis here. I've got to be ready for the match, play it like any other, and I hope if I play like I have been, I can get through."