Racquet-smashing Novak Djokovic defeats Alexander Zverev to book semi-final spot

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 16, 2021, 08:41 PM(IST)

Djokovic silences Sinner on Monte Carlo return Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Serbian ace Novak Djokovic smashed his racquet and then knocked out Alexander Zverev from the Australian Open as the defending champion entered the semi-finals of the Grand Slam on Tuesday. 

Serbian ace Novak Djokovic smashed his racquet and then knocked out Alexander Zverev from the Australian Open as the defending champion entered the semi-finals of the Grand Slam on Tuesday. 

Nursing an abdominal injury, Djokovic produced a patchy performance but credit to his mental strength that he went on to win the match against Zverev by 6-7 (6/8), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6). 

Djokovic is being tipped as hot favourite to reach the final of Australian Open when he locks horns with Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who continued his dream run with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win against injured Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. 

The world number ripped his racquet apart after slipping behind in the third set but recovered brilliantly to win the set and was ice-cool on the big points as he drilled an ace to win the decisive tie-breaker. 

Djokovic

"Down to the very last shot it was anybody's match," said the 33-year-old Serb.   

"A lot of nerves out there, a lot of pressure. Emotionally I feel a little bit drained, honestly." 

ALSO READ: Williams, Osaka into semis as Russian fairytale continues

×

Djokovic remains on track for a record-extending ninth Australian Open title and 18th Grand Slam trophy as he continues to chase rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – who both have 20.  

Earlier, Williams took a step towards a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title with a 6-3, 6-3 dismantling of second seed Simona Halep, her nemesis in the 2019 Wimbledon final. 

ALSO READ: History-making qualifier Karatsev reaches Australian Open semis

Williams, 39, said her level was improving ahead of her meeting with Japan's Osaka, who came out on top in their tempestuous 2018 US Open title match.  

"Definitely think this is the best match I have played this tournament, for sure," said the 10th seed.  

"Obviously I had to, going up against the number two in the world, so I knew I had to do better." 

(With AFP inputs) 

Read in App