After a slow start, Novak Djokovic has gradually played his way into form as he looks for an eleventh Australian Open title and an opportunity at more history. The Serb has overcome tough conditions, injury doubts and inspired opponents as he looks to expand his legacy not only in Melbourne but in tennis. Those goals will be put to the test in the semi-finals against Jannik Sinner, who is yet to drop a set in the tournament so far and is playing the best tennis of his career so far.
The Serb has been far from convincing so far but if history tells us anything it’s that Djokovic saves his best tennis for the most important rounds with the 24-time Grand Slam champion looking to do the same here.
However an immense test awaits in the semi-finals as Djokovic will play Sinner who is yet to drop a set this tournament and has carried the momentum from the ATP Finals into this tournament.
The Italian is in the best form of his life and will now look to carry the momentum into the semi-finals as he bids for a first Grand Slam final.
After matching Monica Seles’ record of 33 straight wins at the Australian Open, Djokovic spoke about how much it means to share a record with Seles.
“It means a lot. I didn’t know that I’m sharing this achievement, this record with her,” Djokovic told the Australian Open website.
“It makes it of course even more special for me. I really love Monica. Monica was definitely one of my childhood idols and heroes, and I looked up to her very much. When I got a chance to meet with her first time … I was very nervous. Obviously she speaks our language because she was born in Serbia but spent most of her life, as she’s doing now, in the United States.
“About Monica, I have only nice words to say about her. I’m really glad that we are sharing this record.”
As for Sinner he focused on the meeting with Djokovic and stated that matches like the one against the Serb is the reason why he plays tennis.
“This is what I practice for, to play against the best players in the world,” Sinner told explained to the Australian Open website.
“[Novak] obviously has an incredible record here, so for me it’s a pleasure to play against him, especially in the final stages of the tournament where things are a little bit more interesting.
“I’m looking forward to it, to be honest. It’s gonna be tough. I will control the controllable, which is giving 100 per cent, having the right attitude, fighting for every ball. And then we see the outcome, no?
“Then after, you know, trying to sleep as much as possible, trying to recover. I feel quite confident too that my body is gonna recover in the best possible way.”
Djokovic will look for depth as he aims to force shorter balls from Sinner as the Serb will hope to be aggressive on the forehand.
Meanwhile Sinner will aims for a high level of consistency on serve as he searches to be aggressive on the backhand and hit as many winners as possible.
The way Sinner has been playing, the Italian starts as favourite on form with the day time conditions set to favour him more than Djokovic.
However the Serb always seems to elevate his level when it matters most and his experience will be crucial here especially if this match goes the distance.
Prediction: Djokovic in five sets.
Daniil Medvedev  v Alexander Zverev  | H2H: Medvedev leads 11-7
Daniil Medvedev has proved why he is a Grand Slam champion so far in Melbourne having used grit and stamina to survive tests from Emil Ruusuvuori and Hubert Hurkacz in order to progress to the semi-finals in Melbourne. Now Medvedev will look to reach his third Australian Open final as he aims to challenge the world’s best players at the biggest events. Next for Medvedev is Alexander Zverev who overcame a late comeback from Carlos Alcaraz in order to reach his seventh Grand Slam semi-final.
“Maybe my first final on ATP Tour or second, you’re like, wow, it’s strange, there’s always so many people in the beginning and then it’s so quiet, and on Grand Slams it’s even more strange.
“But once two, three finals, I got used to it, and actually [it’s] the best feeling, You know if there is almost no one left in the tournament, that means you’ve done a great job, there’s no one to disturb you, it’s just you, so go try to win it.
“I like this feeling…hopefully I can be here on Sunday.”
Meanwhile Zverev spoke about being broken when serving for the match against Alcaraz as he prepares for the semi-finals.
“I was playing one of the best players in the world. Over the past two years he has been No. 1 or No. 2 constantly,” Zverev told the ATP website.
“He’s won two Grand Slams, and when you are up 6-1, 6-3, 5-2, you start thinking. We are all human and it is a great honour to play against guys like him. When you’re so close to winning your brain starts going and it is not always helpful, but I’m happy that I got there in the end. I fought back quite well in the fourth set, didn’t let go and I’m very happy that I finished the match.
“I’m happy to be here and I’m ready to keep going.”
Medvedev will look to be consistent and clinical on return as he will look to use angles to force errors from Zverev’s erratic forehand.
Meanwhile Zverev will look to dictate play on serve as the German looks for consistency on the backhand to force Medvedev behind the baseline.
This will be a tight match with both players’ energy levels being put to the test but Medvedev should have too much quality for Zverev.
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