Djokovic dominates Paul to set up final clash vs Tsitsipas
Melbourne, Australia, Jan 27 (EFE).- Novak Djokovic made light work of Tommy Paul in the Australian Open semi finals on Friday, defeating the American in straight sets 7-5, 6-1, 6-2.
The number 4 seed from Serbia, who is looking to equal Rafael Nadal’s all-time record of 22 Grand Slam wins, sealed his place in the final at Melbourne for the 10th time, having won the tournament on nine occasions.
Djokovic, who despite nursing a hamstring injury has dominated one opponent after another on the way to the final on Sunday, has not lost an Australian Open match since 2018.
He was famously banned from entering the country for last year’s edition because of his Covid-19 vaccination status, restrictions that have since been lifted.
The only controversy surrounding the Serb this year has come off court, after his father Srdjan was criticized for posing with photos with supporters of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
Djokovic overcame an early blip when he allowed Paul back into the first set after leading 5-1, but eventually saw out the frame to take it 7-5, before cruising through the final two sets against the unseeded and outmatched American.
Djokovic’s opponent in the final on Sunday will be Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated Russia’s Karen Khachanov 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3.
The Greek third seed looked poised to complete a straight sets win, but failed to convert two match balls in the third frame tie-break to allow the 18th seeded Russian back into the match.
Tsitsipas has been on the fringes of Grand Slam glory but has yet to win a major title, having agonizingly lost out to Djokovic on his previous final appearance at Roland Garros, when he squandered a two-set lead.
But the odds will be stacked against him, as he will have to end Djokovic’s record 27-match unbeaten run at Melbourne Park. EFE