Novak Djokovic is on the run to claim his tenth Australian Open crown and has refrained from experiencing the excruciating emotional pain of having exited a Grand Slam in the early stages, unlike Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
The Serb’s performance in the fourth round of the Australian Open was immaculate as he decimated homeboy Alex de Minaur’s challenge at Melbourne Park with an emphatic powerplay, ending the match without dropping a single set.
Despite being surrounded by recent controversies alleging the Serbian star of faking his hamstring injury, Nole seems unbothered and in high spirits to take on his next opponent.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 23, 2023
Djoker, for his quarter-final round, is set to go up against Russian tennis professional Andrey Rublev, who in a post-match press conference at the Australian Open has admitted to performing at his level best against the former world No. 1.
Having asked Andrey’s stance for his upcoming match against Novak, he was quick to post a reply at the press conference saying “The only chance I have is if I play my best tennis, just fight for every ball, and that’s it. That’s the only chance.”
The Aussie, while being a subject to the interview cum conference also acknowledged Djokovic’s legacy, commenting “I know that Novak is a very tough player to beat, especially in the Slams. He has, I don’t know, the best experience to win these kinds of matches. He’s one of the best in history.”
The 25-year-old played one of the best matches of his career in the fourth round where he defeated Holger Rune in an epic five-set battle, where Rublev saved two match points and made a comeback in the deciding set from 0-5.
Has Andrew Rublev beaten Novak Djokovic before?
Andrey Rublev will not be facing Novak for the first time in his career. The Russian has had three previous encounters with Nole.
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It is highly likely for 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak to face resistance from Rublev as he has continued to perform resiliently throughout the championship. On the other, Djoker can also exploit Andrey’s mental balance, a factor which has often led the Russian professional to lose in major tournaments.
On Wednesday, the duo will clash for the fourth time in the quarter-final at Rod Laver Arena, battling their way into booking themselves a berth in the final four of the Australian Slam.