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Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic storms into final, outplays Aslan Karatsev in semis

First Published Feb 18, 2021, 7:13 PM IST
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This was Novak Djokovic’s ninth semi-final appearance in the Australian Open. He has qualified for the final on each occasion and has also won it in all instances. He would face either Russia’s Danil Medvedev or Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, who play their semis on Friday.

Reigning world number one, Novak Djokovic of Serbia outplayed unseeded Russian Aslan Karatsev in the 2021 Australian Open’s semis on Thursday. It was the Serbian’s ninth appearance in the semis and has won on each occasion.

Reigning world number one, Novak Djokovic of Serbia outplayed unseeded Russian Aslan Karatsev in the 2021 Australian Open’s semis on Thursday. It was the Serbian’s ninth appearance in the semis and has won on each occasion.

In what turned out to be one of the most one-sided encounters of the tournament at this stage, Djokovic rode to a quick win in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. As both played a total of 15 games, the Serbian hit 30 winners, including just an unforced error, along with 17 aces.

In what turned out to be one of the most one-sided encounters of the tournament at this stage, Djokovic rode to a quick win in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. As both played a total of 15 games, the Serbian hit 30 winners, including just an unforced error, along with 17 aces.

Although Karatsev looked for a fast start, Djokovic quickly got hold of him. With the Serbian leading 5-3 in the opening set, the Russian made three consecutive errors, including 13 unforced ones. Karatsev looked to dominate in the second set, as Djokovic did struggle a bit. Nonetheless, a break was enough to see him through, while the Russian was outplayed entirely in the third.

Although Karatsev looked for a fast start, Djokovic quickly got hold of him. With the Serbian leading 5-3 in the opening set, the Russian made three consecutive errors, including 13 unforced ones. Karatsev looked to dominate in the second set, as Djokovic did struggle a bit. Nonetheless, a break was enough to see him through, while the Russian was outplayed entirely in the third.

Djokovic would now face the second semis winner, between Russia’s Danil Medvedev and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, ranked ninth and sixth, respectively. Notably, Djokovic has won the previous eight final he has featured in.

Djokovic would now face the second semis winner, between Russia’s Danil Medvedev and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, ranked ninth and sixth, respectively. Notably, Djokovic has won the previous eight final he has featured in.

“I felt as best as I felt so far in the tournament tonight. Physically, mentally. I was hitting the ball very well, mixing the pace. Didn’t give him the same looks at all, always kind of kept him guessing and served well when I needed to get out of trouble, late in the second set,” said Nole after the game.

“I felt as best as I felt so far in the tournament tonight. Physically, mentally. I was hitting the ball very well, mixing the pace. Didn’t give him the same looks at all, always kind of kept him guessing and served well when I needed to get out of trouble, late in the second set,” said Nole after the game.

“Regardless of who I face on Sunday, I’m ready for the toughest match of the tournament, without a doubt. Both of these guys are in great form. Medvedev is playing [at] an extremely high [level]. He’s on a winning match streak. He’s just the man to beat. On the other hand, Tsitsipas produced some phenomenal tennis last night against Rafa. Coming back from two sets down against Rafa [in] a Grand Slam, any Grand Slam, is a huge effort,” he concluded.

“Regardless of who I face on Sunday, I’m ready for the toughest match of the tournament, without a doubt. Both of these guys are in great form. Medvedev is playing [at] an extremely high [level]. He’s on a winning match streak. He’s just the man to beat. On the other hand, Tsitsipas produced some phenomenal tennis last night against Rafa. Coming back from two sets down against Rafa [in] a Grand Slam, any Grand Slam, is a huge effort,” he concluded.

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