Novak Djokovic has played and won nine of the nine semifinals he played at the Australian Open. In short, after a rather troubled ride, seasoned by some physical problems and some controversy, the Serbian champion archived the practice with the surprise of the event, the Russian player Aslan Karatsev.
Absolute protagonist of the Slam downunder. Despite a few empty passes in the heart of the match, with an advantage of 5-1 to defend, the number one of the group seals the success at 6-3 6-4 6-2 at the threshold of two hours of play and reaches among others things also the twenty-eighth career Grand Slam final, effectively hooking Rafa Nadal.
Waiting for him in the final is one of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev. Karatsev plays the game almost perfectly. Or rather, he tries in every way not to give reference points and above all to remain attached to the baseline.
He succeeds, if only until the seventh game, limiting the number of unforced errors to practically zero. Djokovic - who mainly limits himself to studying the situation - with a partial mega of 12-1 definitely breaks the balance and puts his head forward.
As in the logic of things, the game takes on completely different connotations. Djokovic puts on automatic pilot, also considerably raises the number of the first winners and in response concedes the crumbs. 5-1 is practically a logical consequence.
Fear of the world's number one, however, takes the form of a small blackout. Karatsev, again deprived of responsibility from the scoring situation, recovers one of the two disadvantaged breaks, recovers up to 4-5 and even - after a splendid defense on the left diagonal - draws from the deck a straight answer that fits into the rectangle of the service.
Break ball. Djokovic - who in the game in the game is forced to face two - is saved in both cases with the service and after just over ninety minutes he practically mortgages the victory. Premise of the third set, a 2-0. Called to consolidate the lead, Djokovic allows himself another small break before sealing the superiority with another 4-0 run.
Australian Open 2021: Naomi Osaka beats Serena Williams ang got the final!
Australian Open 2021: Naomi Osaka beats Serena Williams ang she got the final of the Melbourne Slam for the second time in her career: in the last act she will face Jennifer Brady, who reaches her first historical Slam fin by beating Karolina Muchova.
Despite thirteen unforced errors with the forehand and a rather low percentage of first players on the court, Naomi Osaka trumps once again against Serena Williams, who is now more and more distant from the twenty-fourth Slam.
Even if she starts from the starting blocks with some difficulties and even if she puts the US champion back on track with a game-horror on 4-3 the Japanese tennis player proves to be more and more prepared. Tactically, technically, but above all physically.
Serena fails to capitalize on an initial 2-0 lead needless to say, not even staying in contact during the fraction. The 5-2 by Osaka is practically a logical consequence: as is the 6-3 and the break that at the start of the second completely directs the matter.
One step away from the finish line, from the fourth Grand Slam final and from the third success in her career against the American, the number three of the big group gets stuck with the service and with three double errors she even finds herself on 4-4.
Problems? Not at all. With four splendid backhand solutions, two of which are winning, she immediately re-establishes the hierarchies and when the luminous scoreboard is close to marking the ninety minutes of play she closes at 6-3 6-4.
The champion of the 2019 edition, unbeaten in the Slam finals, will see her on Saturday on the blue of the Rod Laver Arena with Jennifer Brady, beaten a few months ago in Flushing Meadows in the semifinals. Right before the title.
In the match with Karolina Muchova, intensity and quality take two completely different paths. Understandable, thinking about the stakes. The American wins the first set, she goes totally confused during the second, but she towers with the joke available in the final rush and with a surgical break she gets to serve for the match at 5-4.
Here: the tenth game of the third set redeems in some way a totally anonymous game, if only from a genuinely aesthetic point of view. Brady moves to 40-15, finds herself against hawk-eye at 40-30, and then practically without the support of the first ball she needs to cancel three balls for the counterbreak and above all of the fourth match point to complete the practice. She finishes 6-3 4-6 6-4. For the American it will obviously be the first Major final in her career.