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Australian Open: Emotional Djokovic with a record in the semifinals

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He discussed with his coach, quarreled with the wind and complained to the referee – but even a not always satisfied Novak Djokovic was far too strong for the opponent. The Serbian tennis star set another milestone in his successful career by reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open with an unchallenged 6:1, 6:2, 6:4 victory over the Russian Andrei Rubljov, leaving a lot of emotions on the court. “The volcano is blazing,” said Eurosport expert Boris Becker about his ex-protégé.

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Djokovic also showed feelings after the match – but this time positive. For his mother, who was sitting in the stands and celebrating her birthday the day before, the 35-year-old serenaded the crowd at Rod Laver Arena with a “Happy Birthday” and formed a heart with his hands. He also saluted his longtime rival Roger Federer and thanked his physiotherapist, with whom he had “gone through hell” over his hamstring issues.

Djokovic celebrated his 26th consecutive victory at the Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne on Wednesday and drew level with record holder Andre Agassi from the USA. In his 44th Grand Slam semi-final, the dominator is the clear favorite against Tommy Paul on Friday. The world number 35. had previously beaten compatriot Ben Shelton 7: 6 (8: 6), 6: 3, 5: 7, 6: 4 and was the first American in 14 years to make it into the top four in Melbourne. “Everyone dreams of starting to play tennis. I can’t believe I made it,” Paul said.

Djokovic has won all previous semifinals in Melbourne

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The chances that Paul will win another Grand Slam title for the US men 20 years after Andy Roddick are slim. Djokovic has won all of his nine semi-finals in Melbourne so far and also showed his extra class against Rublev. “When things got tight, I found my best tennis, that makes me the happiest,” said Djokovic.

Unlike the round of 16 victory two days earlier against the Australian Alex de Minaur, the 21-time Grand Slam tournament winner was not always satisfied. “He seems a bit more nervous and upbeat, not quite as calm and collected as in the last match,” said Becker. Rublev, who also failed in his seventh Grand Slam quarterfinal, was unable to capitalize on it.

Magda Linette and Aryna Sabalenka previously reached the women’s semi-finals. First, the Polish Linette continued her run of success with a 6:3, 7:5 against the disappointing Czech Karolina Pliskova and celebrated the biggest Grand Slam success of her career. “A dream comes true, I’m just happy,” said the 30-year-old afterwards: “I’ll never forget that. That stays for life.”

In the fight for the final ticket, Linette meets Sabalenka on Thursday. The Belarusian defeated the Croatian Donna Vekic 6: 3, 6: 2 and did not lose a set in her ninth match of the year. In the second semi-final, Kazakh Wimbledon winner Yelena Rybakina and two-time Australian Open winner Viktoria Azarenka from Belarus will face off.

For doubles player Andreas Mies, however, the first Grand Slam tournament with his new partner John Peers is over. The two-time French Open winner lost in the quarterfinals alongside the Australian against Marcel Granollers (Spain) and Horacio Zeballos (Argentina) 4: 6, 7: 6 (7: 2), 2: 6. “It’s definitely a good start. But I think there could have been more, so it annoys me a bit,” said Mies. (dpa)

Source: Tagesspiegel

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