Novak Djokovic declared himself in top form again after qualifier Aslan Karatsev had finished and reached the ninth Australian Open final

The world number one, who has won the title on each of the eight previous occasions he reached the semi-finals in Melbourne, took his first straight win since the first round, beating the world number 114 with 6 : 3 6-4 6-2

It’s been a much-needed pleasant evening for Djokovic after the dramas of his tournament, including an abdominal injury sustained in the third round against Taylor Fritz in the fifth round, and a thrilling win over Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals

The 33-year-old said: “It took a lot away from me. I was exhausted, especially after Zverev’s match, but I was thrilled to master these great challenges. I knew that it would be better once I triumphed over Zverev I just had such an inner feeling and I was right

“I’m surprised how I felt tonight I think it in some ways exceeded my greatest wishes and the way I wanted to feel. At the same time, I’ve had similar experiences in the past where I was recovered pretty quickly ”

This wasn’t easy: Karatsev fought his way back from 1-5 to 4-5 in the second set, forcing Djokovic to save two breakpoints

The roar of the top seed as it won the game showed what a great moment it was, and it ended with a run of four games in a row

Djokovic will be in his 28th birthday on Sunday Final at his 18th Grand Slam title fight Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas will fight in the second semifinals on Friday evening

Whoever wins will have to stop working to stop Djokovic and the Serb added: “I’m just very happy with the performance. It came at the right time Before the last game in a Grand Slam, there couldn’t be a better timing for me be playing my best tennis

“I’m also glad I now have two days off. Anyway, recovery is a priority I’ve played enough tennis I feel great on the court

“Regardless of who I face on Sunday, I’m no doubt ready for the fight, for the toughest match of the tournament”Both are in great shape

“Medvedev plays with extremely high quality. He has a winning streak behind him, won over 20 games. He’s just the man to beat

“On the other hand, Tsitsipas produced phenomenal tennis against Rafa (Nadal) last night It’s a tremendous effort to come back from two sets against Rafa in a Grand Slam, a Grand Slam ”

Karatsev’s victory over Grigor Dimitrov on Tuesday made him the first man in the Open era to reach the semi-finals on his Grand Slam debut, and he wanted to be the first qualifier to reach a final

The 27-year-old Russian, who will climb into the top 50 after never having been in the top 100, was by no means overwhelmed against Djokovic, but he did discover why the Serb is known as arguably the game’s greatest defensive player has seen

Karatsev said, “It’s been a great two weeks for me starting with (qualifying) It’s a good experience. When I play Novak it helps me to have that experience, to feel the game as he is playing

“Now I’m going to play all the big tournaments, so I’ll get this confidence and just keep playing, keep practicing”

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World news – GB – Novak Djokovic declares that he is back in top form after reaching the finals