Novak Djokovic maintained his perfect record in the last-four of this tournament as he beat Aslan Karatsev 6-3 6-4 6-2 in the Australian Open 2021 semi-finals.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic was pleased as punch after reaching the Australian Open 2021 final on Thursday as he beat unseeded Aslan Karatsev in the semi-finals at the Rod Laver Arena.
The Serbian ace maintained his perfect record in the last-four of this tournament as he beat Russian qualifier Karatsev 6-3 6-4 6-2 under the lights to ease into his 9th decider at Melbourne Park.
“This is the best I felt during the entire tournament,” he told Jim Courier on court.
“Felt great, I could swing through the ball, no pain, just best match so far, and it came at the right time and I’m thrilled to feel this way.
“Recovery is priority right now. I’m feeling the ball well, I’m playing well, I had enough match play, enough practice so right now it’s just gathering all the necessary energy for the most important match of the Australian Open.”
Djokovic made only one unforced error in more than 50 minutes.
It was tight for the first seven games — before Djokovic reeled off eight straight points to win the first set — and again when Karatsev went on an all-or-nothing roll late in the second set.
Sensing a shift in support for the underdog — there was a loud, vocal crowd at Rod Laver Arena after a five-day span when fans were barred during a local COVID-19 outbreak — Djokovic moved up a gear and finished off his opponent.
“The more I win, the better I feel coming back,” the top-ranked Djokovic said. “The love affair continues.”
Djokovic will have a day off Friday when No. 4 Daniil Medvedev and No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is coming off a five-set win over Rafael Nadal, meet in the other semifinal. He said he’d have a rest and get the popcorn ready to watch and see who he gets to face in Sunday’s final.