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Djokovic to get the popcorn out after ending Karatsev's dream run


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Novak Djokovic says he will kick back an enjoy the outstanding semi-final at the Australian Open having booked his place in a ninth Melbourne decider.

The top seed and defending champion ended the storybook run of Aslan Karatsev, beating the world no.114 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Djokovic will face either Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday morning's final.

Having dealt with injury throughout this year's tournament, Djokovic said the win over the qualifier was the best he's felt over the past ten days.

"I definitely had to stretch myself to the limit in the last five days, in every sense," he said.

"Recovery is the priority right now. I’m feeling the ball well, I’m playing well, I’ve had enough match play.

"Right now it’s about gathering all the necessary energy for the most important match of the Australian Open.

“Of course it gives me more confidence knowing I haven’t lost here in finals or semifinals. But that won't be the deciding factor... both Tsitsipas and Medvedev will want their first Grand Slam title.

"I’m sure they’ll do their best and I’ll be ready for that.”

Whoever the opponent, Djokovic holds the mental advantage of knowing he's never lost this late in the Australian Open.

He's won every semi-final and final in which he's played in Melbourne.

By contrast, Tsitsipas has only played in two Grand Slam semi-finals to date - losing both - while Medvedev is further than he's ever been in the year's first Slam.

"Stefanos did incredibly well to somehow to turn it around [v Rafa Nadal], Djokovic said, “That was probably the best match of the tournament so far, such a high level.

“Speaking of high level, Medvedev is the guy, playing the highest level of anyone in the last three or four months.

"It’s going to be really interesting, always high intensity between them. I’m going to take the popcorn and enjoy it."

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Aslan Karatsev Australian Open Daniil Medvedev Melbourne Novak Djokovic Stefanos Tsitsipas Tennis

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