Nobody can say that he feels more comfortable than Novak Djokovic in the Rod Laver Arena, which has almost become his living room. Now, after recovering from the discomfort in his left hamstring and leaving logical insecurities behind after a resounding victory against Alex De Minaur, Djokovic will seek full throttle.
And boy does he know what that means: he has never lost a semifinal or a final in the first Grand Slam of the year. Nonetheless, Djokovic has lost three times at the quarterfinal stage: in 2014, to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka; in 2010, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga; and 2009, when he had to retire against Andy Roddick.
That will be the challenge that the powerful Andrey Rublev will have ahead of him this Wednesday. "The only chance I have is if I play my best tennis, if I fight for every ball," said Rublev, who is bidding for a place in a Major semifinal for the first time on his seventh attempt.
"I know Novak is a very difficult player to beat, especially in the Slams, that's why he is one of the best ever." The Serb leads 2-1 in ATP Head2Head with the last encounter going to Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals. The win for Rublev came in the Serbian Open final, when he upset him at Djokovic's home tournament.
“He is a player with incredible power, especially on the right. Just a very explosive player," Djokovic said of Rublev. The Serb will be seeking his 26th consecutive Australian Open victory to equal the men's streak in Melbourne for the longest in the Open Era, alongside Andre Agassi between 2000 and 2004.
Djokovic, the only Grand Slam champion in the last eight in Melbourne, he knows he will be the clear favorite not only against Rublev, but also for the title. At 35 years old, he still has a lot to say in the great history of this sport.
Djokovic talks about his son Stefan
During his on-court interview after the win, Novak Djokovic opened up about his eight-year-old son Stefan’s tennis ambitions. “He is playing, you know. He is enjoying himself.
The important thing is that he is just loving what he is doing, you know. Whether it is tennis, whatever sport, you know,” he said, “Of course, as a father, I want him to be active, be healthy. He loves tennis. He wants to watch every single match.
Whenever I’m at home, there is no tennis break for me because I play with him everyday,” he said, “It is the most beautiful thing that I could ever experience in my life, you know. Being a father of wonderful two little angels”.