Australian Open quarter-final: Andrey Rublev v Novak Djokovic – dwell | Australian Open 2023



Andrey Rublev is seeded just one place below Novak Djokovic, but that rather undersells the size of his task today. The Russian is 0-6 in grand slam quarter-finals, losing five of those matches in straight sets. He has the all-round game to go further, but it will be tough to overcome that hurdle today against a man chasing history.

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Djokovic is one win from equalling Andre Agassi’s 26-game winning run in Melbourne, and the favourite to clinch a scarcely believable 10th Australian Open this week. He has taken a while to hit top gear this year, held back by a hamstring injury early on but after dispatching Alex De Minaur in ruthless fashion, he is undoubtedly the man to beat.

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Play starts shortly, so get comfortable and follow along right here – and you can get in touch with me via email or on Twitter.

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Key occasions

First set: *Rublev 1-4 Djokovic (*denotes subsequent server) That can be extremely deflating for Rublev, who had regarded in marginally higher form early on. He retains preventing, stepping in on the second serve to make it 30-all. When the Djoko first serve lands in, it’s a completely different story, as a game-sealing ace confirms.

First set: Rublev 1-3* Djokovic (*denotes subsequent server) Djokovic didn’t look fully pleased throughout that service recreation, one errant first serve notably irritating him. Rublev makes a strong begin right here with some aggressive photographs, however once more lets a 40-15 lead slip to deuce. Djokovic digs out a return in trademark model to earn a break level – and Rublev double-faults! Oh pricey.

Djokovic races for a forehand return.
Djokovic races for a forehand return. {Photograph}: Daniel Pockett/Getty Photos

First set: Rublev *1-2 Djokovic (*denotes subsequent server) Rublev can be pleased to get by way of that first check, however Djokovic definitely made him work for it. Can he apply any stress on the Djokovic serve? It’s not firing on all cylinders simply but, however he takes the recreation with a cross-court winner.

First set: Rublev 1-1* Djokovic (*denotes subsequent server) After opening with a double fault, Rublev comes by way of what stands out as the first of many lengthy rallies – however Djokovic stays within the recreation with a scientific, baseline-clipping lob. Rublev steps ahead to place away a forehand at break-point down, and will get on the board with an ace.

First set: Rublev *0-1 Djokovic (*denotes subsequent server) Djokovic, his left thigh closely strapped once more, fires down some huge first serves to carry. Rublev does supply some risk on second serve, notably with a ferocious cross-court profitable forehand.

Andrey Rublev hits a backhand.
Andrey Rublev hits a backhand. {Photograph}: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Right here they arrive! Each gamers out on court docket, with Djokovic getting an enormous ovation. Lots of Serbian flags fluttering within the stands on the Rod Laver Area. It’s presently a balmy 26 levels in Melbourne, with a little bit of breeze too.

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads Rublev 2-1 of their three earlier conferences, having overwhelmed Rublev twice on arduous courts on the ATP finals – however the Russian can take coronary heart from a victory in final yr’s Belgrade closing. Admittedly, that was on clay and Djokovic was not in peak kind – however Rublev received the final set 6-0, the one participant aside from Rafa Nadal to bagel huge Nolé within the final 5 years.

Right here’s Tumaini Carayol on Wednesday’s quarter-final motion in the ladies’s draw, the place Magda Linette continued her surprising run:

The winner right here immediately will face Tommy Paul within the semi-final, after he emerged victorious from the sooner all-American battle with Ben Shelton, profitable 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. The 25-year-old reached the fourth spherical finally yr’s Wimbledon, however that is his finest efficiency at a grand slam by a long way.

Preamble

Andrey Rublev is seeded only one place beneath Novak Djokovic, however that fairly undersells the dimensions of his job immediately. The Russian is 0-6 in grand slam quarter-finals, dropping 5 of these matches in straight units. He has the all-round recreation to go additional, however it should be robust to beat that hurdle immediately towards a person chasing historical past.

Djokovic is one win from equalling Andre Agassi’s 26-game profitable run in Melbourne, and the favorite to clinch a scarcely plausible tenth Australian Open this week. He has taken some time to hit high gear this yr, held again by a hamstring harm early on however after dispatching Alex De Minaur in ruthless style, he’s undoubtedly the person to beat.

Play begins shortly, so get comfy and comply with alongside proper right here – and you possibly can get in contact with me through e mail or on Twitter.



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