Novak Djokovic joins Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final

“Nole” is almost there. Easy winner in the semi-final of the unexpected American Tommy Paul (7-5, 6-1, 6-2), Friday January 27, Novak Djokovic is one game away from winning his tenth title in Melbourne. Nervous at the start of the match, the Serb had to fight an hour before winning the first set. Once serenity was restored, he recited his tennis in front of a completely overwhelmed Paul.

In case of victory in the final, the Serb would win his 22e coronation in Grand Slam, and would thus share the record currently held by the Spaniard Rafael Nadal. The challenge is even triple for “Djoko”, since he would also resume his place as world number 1, occupied today by another Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz.

But Djokovic is not alone in being able to claim the place of boss of international tennis. Stefano Tsitsipas will stand in his way. The Greek, number 4 in the world ranking, qualified a little earlier in the day on Friday for his second final, after that of Roland Garros lost against the Serb, in 2021. He defeated the Russian in four sets Karen Khachanov (20e in the world ranking) 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. “I like this figure [numéro un]he said after his victory. And I am happy that this chance presents itself here”in Melbourne, in front of a huge Greek community, which loudly supports him at each of his meetings.

His father seen with pro-Russian supporters

Tsitsipas had already played three semi-finals in the antipodes (2019, 2021, 2022), but without ever winning. Last year, he was beaten in the semi-finals by Daniil Medvedev. This year, at 24, he becomes the youngest finalist of this Open since… Djokovic, in 2011.

Will the 35-year-old Serb be able to count on the support of his father in the stands for the final, Sunday January 29 at 9:30 a.m. (Paris time)? Srdjan Djokovic had made the decision not to attend his son’s semi-final so as not to “to cause disturbance”, after being filmed celebrating his son’s victory in the quarter-finals with pro-Russian supporters. The Ukrainian ambassador to Australia had even demanded that his accreditation be withdrawn.

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“Our family has been through the horrors of war and all we want is peace”assured Srdjan Djokovic to defuse a controversy that “Nole” would have done well. “It was not nice not having him in the box during the semi-final. I hope he will be there for the final”did he declare.

The World with AFP


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