Australian Open: Djokovic declares he found best tennis in resounding Rublev win

By Sports Desk January 25, 2023

Novak Djokovic felt he played his best tennis in Wednesday's straight-sets win over Andrey Rublev which resulted in his 10th semi-final appearance at the Australian Open.

Djokovic produced a dominant performance as he ran out a 6-1 6-2 6-4 victor against Rublev, who has now lost each of his seven career grand slam quarter-finals.

Having missed last year's tournament, nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic has now won 26 consecutive matches at the event, matching Andre Agassi's record streak in the men's singles draw, set between 2000 and 2004.

Speaking courtside after securing another routine win, Djokovic insisted his opponent deserved more but said he had hit top form at Rod Laver Arena.

"Overall, I think the scoreline of the first two sets does not speak to the reality of the match, there were some really close games," Djokovic said.

"Andrey's a great opponent, a great player. I have tonnes of respect for him. He has one of the biggest forehands and is one of the quickest players on the Tour.

"I knew what the game plan was, but it's one thing to imagine how you want to play and another to execute it on the court. 

"If I had to sum it up, in all the important moments and important shots, I found my best tennis. That's what makes me most pleased tonight."

Djokovic described his 6-2 6-1 6-2 demolition of Alex de Minaur in the last 16 as his best performance of the year on Monday, and the Serbian ranked his display against Rublev as a close second.

"I would rank it as number two, but very close to the performance of two nights ago!" Djokovic said.

"I could not be happier with my tennis, honestly. I've been playing very solid from the back of the court and I really love playing under these conditions and on this court.

"I've said it many times, but I love playing here. It's definitely the most special court for me."

Djokovic's pursuit of a record-extending 10th title at Melbourne Park looked to be in doubt as he struggled with a hamstring injury in the early rounds, but after moving freely on Wednesday, the 35-year-old credited his medical team's efforts.

"On the days off it's important to be smart and wise with the body in these particular circumstances. It's important to recover and get ready for the next challenge," he said. 

"I just want to give huge credit to my physiotherapist Miljan [Amanovic], he has been through hell with me over the last 10 days with all the treatments. He deserves huge credit and I'm so grateful to him."

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