Imperial, Novak Djokovic made short work of Russian Aslan Karatsev (6-3, 6-4, 6-2), surprise guest in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
Return to normal for Novak Djokovic. After a complicated start to the tournament, with narrow victories against Fritz, Raonic and Zverev, and the mystery surrounding his abdominal injury, the Serbian is once again the player we knew, the one who is practically invincible in the game.‘Australian Open when the road rises. In his Melbourne garden, he never lost once he passed the quarter-finals.
A powerful performance from start to finish for @DjokerNole 💪🇷🇸 # AusOpen | # AO2021 pic.twitter.com/XEQy28dbUX
– #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 18, 2021
Aslan Karatsev, the immense surprise of the tournament, experienced it. The Russian qualifier, who has had the tournament of his life (so far anyway), for his very first Grand Slam appearance, remained unsolved against the world No. 1. While he had boned good outsiders like Schwartzman, Auger-Aliassime or Dimitrov, with his laser forehands that he is able to hit in all directions, Karatsev was corrected in three small sets (6-3, 6- 4, 6-2 in 1h55), without ever making his opponent doubt. For him, too, it’s a kind of brutal return to normal, although the rest of the season will tell where his real level of play lies, between the complete anonymity of before the pandemic, and the winning streak that Carried him until this historic fortnight in Melbourne, where he is the first qualifier to have climbed into the last four. 114th in the world arriving in Australia, he will be 42nd next Monday.
Djokovic for an 18th crown
As for history, Djokovic is back in business. While he said he was close to the forfeit before his round of 16 against Raonic, which caused a lot of talk, the Serbian has found an excellent level of play, all of a sudden. “No problem, no pain, my best game so far,” he summed up at Jim Courier’s microphone on the court, his arms crossed behind his back, serene as ever. I am happy to feel this way. “Here he is in the final in Australia for the 9th time in his career, looking for a 9th crown here. From an 18th in a Grand Slam, which would allow him to get closer to two lengths of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the Spaniard no longer being around. He now has two full days to recover before his final on Sunday against Tsitsipas or Medvedev. Considering its shape today, there is no need to worry.
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