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Australian Open: Rublew doesn’t stop Djokovic either

Djokovic, on the other hand, is in the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the 44th time, and he celebrated his 26th consecutive victory in the first major of the year. In his tenth Melbourne semi-final, he will face Tommy Paul, who beat fellow American Ben Shelton 7-6 (8/6) 6-3 5-7 6-4. “I couldn’t be happier with my game,” said Djokovic in an interview on the pitch. “The result looked clearer than it was in the first two sets. I played my best tennis in the most important moments. It was very solid, even from the baseline, I love playing here. I’ll try to keep playing well here.”

Despite his clear victory, the Serb didn’t always look satisfied. The 21-time Major winner discussed during the 2:03 hour game with coach Goran Ivanisevic, quarreled with the wind and complained to the referee about a fan. In the end, however, none of this changed anything about the renewed entry into the top four.

Paul for the first time in the semifinals

Paul had previously defeated the 20-year-old Shelton after 3:06 hours in the first all-US quarterfinals at a major since 2007. For 25-year-old Paul it is the first major semi-final of his career, and he will also make it into the top 20 for the first time. He is also the first US player to reach the Melbourne semifinals since childhood idol Andy Roddick in 2009.

IMAGO/Ella Ling

Things are going better than expected for Paul in Melbourne

“Everyone dreams of reaching the second weekend at a major when they start tennis,” said Paul, but also thought of Shelton and his other US colleagues. “I’m happy for all the boys. Frances Tiafoe was in the semifinals at the US Open, now I’m here.”

Australia 2023 will also remain unforgettable for Shelton: With three Challenger victories en suite, he was just able to qualify for his first major and had to have a passport issued for his first trip abroad.

Linette continues to surprise

Among the women, number five seeded Aryna Sabalenka and surprisingly Magda Linette complete the semifinals. Linette continues to fill the breach for her Polish compatriot and top favorite Iga Swiatek, who was unexpectedly eliminated in the round of 16. She defeated the Czech Karolina Pliskova 6:3 7:5. After that, the Belarusian Sabalenka didn’t give the Croatian Donna Vekic a chance with 6:3 6:2.

Magda Linette

IMAGO/Ella Ling

Apparently, Linette herself cannot believe her success

For the 30-year-old Linette, success comes out of nowhere. In her 30th Grand Slam tournament, she is now in the semi-finals for the first time, before that she had never gotten past the third round of a major. “Maybe I really can’t believe it yet,” she said at the press conference. On the other hand, the victory over Pliskova was the fourth in a row over a seed: Before Pliskova, she had also knocked out Anett Kontaveit (No. 16), Ekaterina Alexandrowa (19) and Caroline Garcia (4).

Sabalenka this year without losing a set

Sabalenka didn’t linger long after beating Vekic. The 24-year-old, who is now the top favorite for the title, not only because of her seeding as number five, is in a major semi-final for the fourth time. Your record in 2023 is impeccable: nine games, nine wins and not a set loss.

“I’m super happy with the win, the atmosphere was incredible,” said Sabalenka, who had previously triumphed in Adelaide. In addition, Vekic was something of a fear opponent: she reduced the head-to-head against the Croatian to 2: 5. Sabalenka has won both previous encounters against Linette.

Men’s singles at the Australian Open in Melbourne

(Australia, 76.5 Mio. Dollars, Hardcourt)

Quarter-final tableau:
Karen Chatschanow (RUS/18) Sebastian Korda (USA/29) 7:6 (7/5) 6:3 3:0 ret.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE/3) Jiri Lehecka (CZE) 6:3 7:6 (7/2) 6:4
Novak Djokovic (SRB/4) Andrej Rublew (RUS/5) 6:1 6:2 6:4
Tommy Paul (USA) Ben Shelton (USA) 7:6 (8/6) 6:3 5:7 6:4

Australian Open Women’s Singles in Melbourne

(Australia, 76.5 Mio. Dollars, Hardcourt)

Quarter-final tableau:
Jelena Rybakina (KAZ/22) Yelena Ostapenko (YEARS/17) 6:2 6:6
Viktoria Asarenka (BLR/24) Jessica Pegula (USA/3) 6:4 6:1
Magda Linette (POL) Karolina Pliskova (JUN/30) 6:3 7:5
Arina Sabalenka (BLR/5) Donna Vekic (CRO) 6:3 6:2
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