Djokovic Downs Shapovalov To Advance In Australia Open

With a furious effort on Friday, top seed Novak Djokovic overcame the challenging Canadian Denis Shapovalov and advanced to the semifinals of the Adelaide International where he will face former world number one Daniil Medvedev.

In advance of the Australian Open later this month, the Serbian, who was vying for his 92nd career victory, overcame early hiccups before finding his groove and winning 6-3, 6-4.

He will now play Medvedev, the runner-up at the previous two Grand Slam tournaments in Melbourne, who defeated compatriot Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-3 despite being outmatched.

“I think the scoreline probably doesn’t give you the right idea of what happened on the court, it was such a close match — two hours for two sets,” Djokovic said.

“The first set was extremely exhausting for both of us, we pushed each other to the limit physically… I’m definitely pleased with the way I fought tonight.”

He got off to a rough start, losing the first game by two break points.

However, he bounced back to hold, and after five minutes had passed due to nearby pyrotechnics, he started to get the measure of the Canadian and broke for 5-3 before serving out the set.

Shapovalov rallied as Djokovic raced to a 3-1 lead in the second set, and the 35-year-old then increased his lifetime advantage over his rival to 8-0.

Before Medvedev ran off 12 of 15 points to break twice and win the opening set, there wasn’t much of a difference between him and Khachanov after their first six games.

Khachanov opened up a 3-1 lead in the second but couldn’t sustain the pressure as Medvedev came storming back.

“Never easy to play your compatriot. I’m happy that I really managed to raise my level, particularly in the end of both sets and really happy to be through to the semis,” said third-seeded Medvedev.

“I’m playing well right now and honestly that’s all that matters.”

Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, who had previously stunned world number 11 Holger Rune, advanced as well after defeating Australian Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (8/10), 6-2.

After defeating sixth-seeded Jannik Sinner 7-5, 6-1, who had treatment for his hip at the end of the first set and seemed hindered in the second, it set up a semifinal matchup with American Sebastian Korda.

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