Novak Djokovic wary of Aslan Karatsev threat ahead of Australian Open SF

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Novak Djokovic wary of Aslan Karatsev threat ahead of Australian Open SF

No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic acknowledged that it wasn't easy against Alexander Zverev in the Australian Open quarterfinal and admitted it was his toughest match of the tournament. Djokovic lost the opening set against Zverev but then won three sets in a row to claim a 6-7 (6) 6-2 6-4 7-6 (6) win and progress into the Australian Open semifinal.

Zverev, who made his maiden Australian Open semifinal, was bidding to make back-to-back semifinals at Melbourne Park. "A lot of keys and turn-arounds today. It was really anybody's game a roller-coaster. I didn't start well and needed time to feel fine in terms of rotation and hitting.

Was just a tough match,'' Djokovic said after the match, per Tennis Majors. "I knew it would be the toughest match of the tournament so far. We pushed each other to the limit."

Djokovic not taking Aslan Karatsev for granted

During the Zverev match, Djokovic broke a racket.

"I'm not proud of this kind of moment when I break rackets. I have my demons. Everyone has his ways to deal with it. Was a cumulation and I needed to let it go. Poor racket,'' Djokovic said. Djokovic will be fighting against qualifier world No.

114 Karatsev for a place in the Australian Open final. Karatsev, who won three qualifying matches in Doha to earn a place in the Australian Open main draw, stunned Grigor Dimitrov to make his maiden Grand Slam semifinal. "It's his first semi-final, it's a big success, he doesn't have anything to lose.

I'm expecting him trying to get that win,'' Djokovic said. Djokovic didn't practice before his round-of-16 and quarterfinal match at Melbourne Park. "I've never experienced not to go to practice between two matches, and this kind of injury during a Grand Slam.

The good point is that from the second set I felt better than any situation since the third round versus Fritz when the injury happened,'' Djokovic said.