Novak Djokovic won the Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 phenomenon in the semifinals of the Australian Open, February 18.
For the first time since the first round, Djokovic went on after just three sets at Melbourne Park. Before the world’s No. 114 opponent who relies heavily on strength, “Nole” is not too difficult to disarm and for the ninth time in the final. In the previous eight finals, the number one player in the world won.
When a belly injury in the third round no longer affected much, Djokovic entered the semi-finals smoothly and won the first set 6-3. Karatsev drowned the more he drowned and was led 1-5 in the second set. When he took a big advantage, Djokovic could not maintain his rhythm and lost three games straight away. But the set still did not fall out of the reach of the number one player in the world, when he kept the game to win 6-4.
In his first time in the Grand Slam semi-finals, Karatsev left a bright spot when winning two games of Djokovic’s ball. One of those two winning games helped him equalize 2-2 in the third set. But Djokovic, in his best form since his injury, didn’t lose his confidence and won four games in a row to finish the match.
In this match, “Nole” successfully took advantage of six out of seven break points, got 30 winners, including 17 ace and only 14 self-defeating mistakes. In the 28th Grand Slam final of his career, the number one player in the world will meet Stefanos Tsitsipas or Daniil Medvedev.
“I have felt the best from the start of the tournament,” said Djokovic after the game. “I can swing to hit the ball without pain anymore. This is my best game since the beginning of the tournament. It comes at the right moment. I have two days off and will definitely train one day. “I have the energy needed for the most important match.”
Karatsev, despite being eliminated, was still in the top 50 with a victory in the semi-finals of the Grand Slam on his first appearance. Before that, the strong attack ability helped the 114th world player a series of famous seeds, such as Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger-Aliassime or Grigor Dimitrov. But when facing Djokovic, the Russian player admitted he understood why “Nole” is considered the best defensive player in history.