Nine-time champion Novak Djokovic is through to his 10th Australian Open semifinal. Novak produced another comfortable victory at Rod Laver Arena, ousting Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and three minutes.. Djokovic will compete in his 44th Major semifinal, trailing two behind Roger Federer.
The win over Andrey is Novak’s 26th straight in Melbourne, equaling Andre Agassi’s record and hoping to surpass it in the next round against Tommy Paul. Djokovic had the advantage from start to finish, serving well and putting pressure on Rublev on the return.
Novak placed his returns to Andrey’s backhand and pushed the opponent’s forehand to the limit in exchanges. The Serb made the crucial difference in the shortest distance to four shots thanks to his opening shot and first groundstroke on serve and return.
Novak denied all five break points and stole the opponent’s serve five times to control the score and cruise to the top.
Novak Djokovic is safe in the semifinal of the Australian Open.
Novak hit 12 winners and unforced errors in the first set and fended off two break points after building a massive lead.
He broke Andrey twice in a row for a resounding 6-1 in 39 minutes. Rublev saved a break point in the second game of the encounter to avoid an early setback. He opened up a 40-15 lead in the fourth game before Djokovic came from behind to grab a break following the opponent’s double fault.
Novak fired an ace in game five to confirm the lead and delivered another break at 4-1 after forcing Andrey’s error. Djokovic served for the opener in game seven and faced two break points. The Serb denied them and closed the set with a 6-1 winning reverse and a great drive.
Novak saved all three break points in the second set and broke Andrey twice to extend his run and move closer to the finish line. The Russian kept in touch until 2-2, already doing more than in the first game. Djokovic forced Rublev’s mistake in the fifth game to secure a break and move into the lead.
A nine-time champion survived two break points in the next and secured another break at 4-2 after a double fault from his powerless opponent. Novak served for the set at 5-2 and struggled a bit. He failed to convert four set points and even faced a break point.
The Serb erased it and hit a service winner on his fifth set point to open a 6-1, 6-2 gap in one hour and 23 minutes. Rublev experienced another setback early in the third set, hitting a terrible volley on Djokovic’s third break point to fall further behind.
Novak held on in game two with a serve winner and created another break chance in game three. Andrey put it away and brought the game home to avoid a complete disaster. Djokovic claimed the fourth game with an ace and held on to the sixth game after a lucky 4-2 net lace winner.
Novak held at 15 in game eight to stay in front, forcing Andrey to serve to stay in the match. Rublev produced a good hold to cut the deficit and stay in contention. Djokovic served for the win at 5-4 and sealed the deal with a tie for a place in his 10th Australian Open semifinal..