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Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic breezes past Karatsev to reach final

Djokovic, meanwhile, has won the title every time he has reached the final at the Australian Open. The 33-year-old 17-time Grand Slam champion has struggled with an abdominal injury during the tournament but showed no signs of the problem against Karatsev. 

  • American 22nd seed Jennifer Brady reached her first Grand Slam final after beating 25th seed Czech Karolina Muchova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
  • She faces Naomi Osaka in the final as the Japanese beat 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams earlier on Thursday.
  • The Russian is the first man to reach the semi-finals on his debut in a Grand Slam.

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Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic breezes past Karatsev to reach final

Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Thursday (February 18) got closer to winning his ninth and third consecutive Australian Open title by crushing Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-finals at the Rod Laver Arena. 

Djokovic was utterly dominant throughout the match and ended Karatsev’s dream run. The Russian is the first man to reach the semi-finals on his debut in a Grand Slam. 

Djokovic, meanwhile, has won the title every time he has reached the final at the Australian Open. The 33-year-old 17-time Grand Slam champion has struggled with an abdominal injury during the tournament but showed no signs of the problem against Karatsev. 

“This is the best I have felt in the entire tournament. It felt great, I could swing through the ball and no pain,” he said after the match. 

“It was my best match so far and came at the right time. I’m thrilled.” 

Earlier, American 22nd seed Jennifer Brady reached her first Grand Slam final after beating 25th seed Czech Karolina Muchova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. She faces Naomi Osaka in the final as the Japanese beat 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams earlier on Thursday. 

Muchova saved as many as five match points off Brady`s serve in the final game. Brady raced to a 30-0 lead and then got to her first match point at 40-15. However, Muchova then won the next three points consecutively before Brady held to make it deuce for the first time in the game. 

The pair then exchanged advantages over the next nine points before Muchova hit a return long, giving Brady the victory. 

“I can’t feel my legs right now. They’re shaking, my heart is racing. After the first set, I thought to myself, ‘let’s focus Jenny’. I actually felt strange when I came out, I was excited but also a bit flat-footed. I don’t think I had that much intensity in the beginning of the match, but that improved over time,” said Brady on court after the match. 

“I think it will be a really tough match against Naomi Osaka. She’s won a few Grand Slams, and we had a really great battle at the US Open, in the semi-final. I’m just going to hang with my team now, spend some quality time, do some recovery work and have a good gym session. I`m going to be a bit nervous tomorrow, but also very excited,” she added. 

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