Novak Djokovic scores perfect 10 and writes history
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 6677
Achieving ten Major semi-finals has always been challenging, being reserved for only 19 players in the Open era. The list gets even more exclusive when we chase those who have collected ten semi-finals at a single Major. Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi were the only players to achieve that before Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic stepped in and completed a selected list.
Connors, Federer and Djokovic have gathered ten semi-finals at multiple Majors, and the Serb stands alone after this year's Australian Open! Novak achieved his tenth Melbourne Park semi-final and became the first player with that many appearances in the last four at all four Major events.
Djokovic came to Melbourne with a hamstring injury, struggling a bit in a couple of sets but doing everything right to enter the semi-final and write history. Novak defeated Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round, delivering a bagel in the third set to make a winning start.
The Serb lost the second set against a qualifier Enzo Couacaud in round two, struggling with his left leg but recovering in sets three and four to hit the last 32. Novak had to give his everything against Grigor Dimitrov, despite beating the Bulgarian in straight sets!
Djokovic's injury did not look good in the first set, but he gave everything to seal the deal in three sets and preserve energy. Without knowing what to expect, Novak entered the court against Alex de Minaur and wished for the best.
As it turned out, he did not feel any issues with his leg and destroyed the rival in three comfortable sets to send a clear message to his opponents. Djokovic had the upper hand on serve and return and left de Minaur far behind, eager to score the most dominant victory possible.
Novak Djokovic has reached ten semi-finals at all four Majors.
With a boost and momentum, Djokovic produced another super fine performance against Andrey Rublev in the quarter-final. A nine-time champion delivered a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory in two hours and three minutes for a place in the last four.
Novak made a convincing start and never looked back, matching Andre Agassi on 26 Australian Open triumphs in a row. Djokovic became a record-holder following a 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 win over Tommy Paul in two hours and 21 minutes. The lower-ranked player gave his everything in his first Major semi-final, erasing a massive deficit in the opener before fading from the court.
Novak lost serve twice and stole half of the return points. Djokovic turned them into seven breaks and made the difference. Novak was the only player on the court since the opening set's closing stages, crumbling the rival's resistance and marching into the title clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas.