17-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic was in great spirits after thrashing Aslan Karatsev in the Australian Open semifinal on Thursday. Djokovic, seeded at No. 1, handed a straight-set defeat to Karatsev 6-3 6-4 6-2 to reach the final at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic broke Karatsev in the eighth game of the first set, before he served out for the opener a game later. Djokovic led 5-1 in the second set but Karatsev refused to quit as he reduced the deficit to 5-4 and even had two break points for 5-5 -- which he didn't convert.
Djokovic blew an early fifth set break but then broke Karatsev two more times to earn a straight-set win. "The way I felt today I like my chances and I’m definitely going to go for a title," Djokovic said, per Tennis Majors.
Djokovic extremely happy with his form
After picking up an injury in the third round against Taylor Fritz, Djokovic managed to continue the tournament and then he beat 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic and 2020 US Open runner-up Alexander Zverev to reach the semifinal.
On Thursday, Djokovic put up one of his best performances of the tournament to make the final. "I’m just very pleased with the performance,” he said. “It came at the right time. Before last match in a Grand Slam, couldn’t be a better timing for me to play my best tennis.
Being in this situation before, many times, I think helps kind of gather all the necessary elements for me to peak at the right time, which is happening again, which I’m very obviously happy about. I’m also happy that I have two days off now.
Still recovery is the priority. Played enough tennis. I’m feeling great on the court”. Djokovic is no awaiting the winner of the remaining semifinal match between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.