Australian Open: Without shining: Djokovic remains on track in Melbourne

Australian Open: Without shining: Djokovic remains on track in Melbourne

Novak Djokovic is still not in top form at the Australian Open. But he also finds a way to win the game against Taylor Fritz. Coco Gauff fought her way into the semi-finals for the women.

On the way to his eleventh Melbourne title, tennis star Novak Djokovic continues to look for his top form. But it was enough for the world number one at the Australian Open to reach the 48th Grand Slam semi-final of his career.

In the quarterfinals, the defending champion defeated the American Taylor Fritz 7:6 (7:3), 4:6, 6:2, 6:3. For Djokovic it was the ninth victory in the ninth duel with Fritz. After 3:45 hours, the 24-time Grand Slam tournament winner converted his first match point.

However, the world number one from Serbia was once again not completely convincing. In the first set, the 36-year-old had to fend off two set points and then even gave up the second round. Only when Fritz’s strength began to wane did Djokovic take control of the game. In the semi-finals on Friday, Djokovic will face either Jannik Sinner from Italy, who has played well in Melbourne so far, or the Russian Andrej Rublyov.

Djokovic was really challenged

“I suffered a lot in the first two sets because he played so well,” said Djokovic after the game. “It was very physically and mentally draining,” he added. “Taylor is playing his best tennis right now and has been serving incredibly well. It wasn’t easy to stay in the match.”

Especially in the crucial moments, Fritz served splendidly for a long time and fended off Djokovic’s first 15 break points. It wasn’t until his 16th attempt that the world number one managed his first break at the start of the third set – after which he pulled away unstoppably.

Like Djokovic, Coco Gauff also had to do hard work to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time. The 19-year-old American won against Ukrainian Marta Kostjuk after a tough fight 7:6 (8:6), 6:7 (3:7), 6:2. Gauff converted her first match point after 3:08 hours.

Night session starts late

The world number four will now face defending champion Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus on Thursday. The world number two had little trouble in the 6:2, 6:3 win against Czech Barbora Krejcikova and continues to be in top form at Melbourne Park. Because Djokovic and Gauff took so long to win, the night session started two hours late.

The semifinals are a repeat of last year’s US Open final, where Gauff won in three sets. For many it is the anticipated finale.

“I’m very proud that I left everything on the pitch today. It’s always difficult against Marta,” said Gauff after the intense game in Melbourne, which was once again very hot on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian started furiously in the first Grand Slam quarter-final of her career and quickly moved away to 5-1. But Gauff, who had already won the WTA tournament in Auckland before the Australian Open, fought back. The American fended off two set points and won the first round in the tiebreak.

Neither of them gave each other anything in the second set. With the score at 5:4, Gauff already served to win the match. But Kostjuk fought back and equalized the set in the tiebreak. After that, the Ukrainian ran out of strength. Gauff quickly pulled away in the deciding set and remains undefeated in 2024.

Source: Stern

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