Reigning champion Novak Djokovic overcame several dips in form to beat Alexander Zverev 6-7(6) 6-2 6-4 7-6(6) and booked his ninth semi final appearance in the Australian Open on Tuesday. Always be updated with the latest news only here at OBN Tennis!
Djokovic climbed back strong after dropped the opening set against Alexander Zverev, one of the young guys trying to shove aside Djokovic and the rest of the Big Three. Djokovic went behind 3-0 in the third. And 3-0 in the fourth, too, that eventually dealt him a set point before turning things around.
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The Serbian shattered his racket in the third set by smashing it into the court when he lost a game. But that only seemed to spur a resurgence as he won the next five games to take the set.
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“I kind of regained my focus after I broke that racket. Things started to shift a little bit for me in a positive direction,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview in Rod Laver Arena about the way he mangled his equipment by hitting it against the court three times after netting a backhand return at 3-1 in the third set.
“It was a relief for me, but I wouldn’t recommend this kind of relief-channeling, if you want to call it,” Djokovic said later. “Of course I’m not proud of that, but you go through a lot of different emotions, you go through an inner battle. Everyone is different. I have my own demons that I have to fight with.”
His next opponent will be the No. 114-ranked Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev after he won over Grigor Dimitrov, becoming the first man in the professional era to reach the semifinals at his first Grand Slam tournament.
Upon this, Djokovic says that he will not be taking the Russian lightly.
“To be honest I hadn’t seen him play before this Australian Open but now I’ve seen him,” he said.
“He’s a very strong guy, physical, moves well and has a lot of firepower from the back of the court. He has a great backhand, serves well and has nothing to lose.”
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