Djokovic knocks Rublev out of critical, equals Agassi’s mark and goes to semifinals at AO – 01/25/2023

Every day, the final tenth of Novak Djokovic at Australian Open it appears extra like a matter of time. Apparently recovered from the hip damage that troubled him at the beginning of the event, the 35-yr-previous Serbian, the present world No. 5, produced one other good efficiency on Wednesday to e book his place within the semi-finals. The sufferer of the occasions was the Russian Andrei Rublev (25 years, #6), who couldn’t discover options to always annoy the beloved. Ultimately, the scoreboard mirrored Djokovic’s dominance: 6/1, 6/2 and 6/4.

Chasing his tenth Australian Open title, Djokovic can be closely favored within the semi-finals. His opponent would be the American Tommy Paul, who will seem for the primary time within the prime 4 of a Grand Slam event. The 25-yr-previous, at present No.35 on this planet, was fortunate within the group to attain the semi-finals with out having to beat a participant within the prime 20. This Wednesday, he earned his place by beating the additionally-hapless Ben Shelton, 20 and No.89 within the rankings, in 4 units: 7/6(6), 6/3, 5/7 and 6/4.

Agassi’s report is tied

The victory over Rublev was twenty sixth in a row with Djokovic at the Australian Open. With it, the Serbian tied with Andre Agassi, who holds the event report within the Open Era and celebrated his triumphs from 2001 till the semifinals in 2004, when he was knocked out by Marat Safin (Agassi didn’t take part within the event in 2002).

In addition to the present streak, which started in 2019, Djokovic had a earlier streak of 25 straight wins at the Australian Open. It began within the first spherical of 2011 and survived till the quarter-finals in 2014 when Stan Wawrinka eradicated Nole to grow to be the champion in Melbourne.

How did this occur

Rublev did what was anticipated of him: he tried to assault along with his proper hand and compelled Djokovic to play defensively. However, Rublev failed to do what he anticipated. Clearly recovered from his left thigh damage, Nole began the sport shifting nicely and transitioning successfully from protection to assault. In addition, the Serbian compelled the Russian to play extra with the left than desired. So Novak went on to win most of the rallies, leaving Rublev in a nasty place. Either the Russian winners shot with a excessive diploma of problem, or they made errors and gave free factors to the previous No. 1. The scoreboard mirrored nicely what occurred on court docket: Djokovic closed the primary no at 6/1.

The second half was related, with the distinction that Rublev held his serve within the first two video games. However, for this goal, it was vital to danger an excessive amount of and play at the restrict of potentialities. Djokovic performed with the chances in his favour, attacked at the proper time, defended brilliantly – as all the time – and took his possibilities when he might change from protection to assault. After saving a break level within the sixth sport by profitable a surprising rally, the veteran shot forward as soon as extra to make it 6/2 on the partial rating.

With every level, Rublev’s frustration grew and his persistence melted away. Without the identical readability at the beginning of the sport, Rubel made issues even easier for Djokovic, who simply had to stick to his sport plan and execute it as earlier than. So the third set already began with a break of serve for the veteran and though the Russian confirmed extra service video games, it was the best half for the Serbian.


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