Novak Djokovic defeated Andrey Rublev in the semi-finals of the Australian Open tennis news

Novak Djokovic delivered a masterclass to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Wednesday and move closer to a 22nd Grand Slam title with a straight sets win over Andrey Rublev. The Serbian was in the zone to beat the Russian 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena and meet Tommy Paul for a place in Sunday’s final. American beat Ben Shelton 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. “I honestly couldn’t be happier with my tennis,” Djokovic said after reaching his 10th semi-final at Melbourne Park. Only Roger Federer (15) and Jack Crawford (11) have been there more times.

“I’m playing really hard from the back of the court and I really like playing in these conditions and on this court,” the 35-year-old Rod Laver told Arena.

“Some really close games that we had,” he added. “Andre is a great opponent, great player. I have a lot of respect for him, one of the biggest forehands, fastest players on the tour.

“I knew what the game plan was and it was important to have my best tennis.”

Djokovic’s quest for a record-extending 10th Australian Open title has not been smooth sailing, plagued by a left hamstring strain en route to the title in Adelaide this month.

He struggled physically in the early rounds but was dominant when he destroyed Alex de Minaur in the fourth round and he showed few problems against Rublev.

A win for the red-hot favorite closed his gap to Federer’s all-time 46th in a 44th Grand Slam semi-final.

In another amazing record, he equaled Andre Agassi’s record for the longest Open-era streak at the first Grand Slam of the year by winning his 26th consecutive match at the Australian Open.

There were ominous signs for Rublev even before the match began.

In contrast to Djokovic’s outstanding record in Melbourne, Rublev — who was taken to Holger Rooney in the fourth round in five sets — came into the Grand Slam quarterfinal clash with an 0-6 record.

After a shaky start when he served a double fault to start the opening proceedings, Djokovic quickly settled into a rhythm.

The Russian, who also sent a double fault to start, struggled early on.

His serving ruse continued and he double-faulted again in response when the Serb served a break point at 2-1.

Djokovic came out on fire and took a 4-1 lead before converting the fifth break point to move 5-1 clear and clinch the set in 39 minutes.

Rubelov had no answer to her precision and power.

Djokovic continued in the same vein in the second set, blowing his chance in four games after a 16-shot rally when Rublev blinked first with a backhand error.

Another break left Rublev frustrated and furious as he went two sets down.

He took a bathroom break between sets, but it didn’t work as Djokovic came up with more venomous shots and broke his serve in the opening game and never let up.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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