Novak Djokovic produced a commanding show against Andrey Rublev at the Australian Open, defeating the Russian 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to book a semifinal berth, where he will meet Tommy Paul. The victory saw him enter the semifinal of a Grand Slam for the 44th time as he continues to chase his 22nd title in Melbourne.
This will be the first meeting between the two and during the post-match interview Djokovic was asked to shared his experience when he first reached the semifinal of a Grand Slam event. Obliging to the request Djokovic said: “I was fortunate to win the semifinals, but finals I lost to Roger,” following which the arena burst into a huge roar.
He then asked the spectators to pay tribute to tennis legend Roger Federer. “Lets give him a huge round of applause to Roger. He deserves it. I had some great battles with Roger over the years that’s for sure, tennis misses him for sure,” said the 21-time Grand Slam winner.
He also teased Federer with a skiing challenge, which if happens will surely be a blast on social media, considering the reputation the two hold in the tennis circuit.
“I saw him dressing up very sharply for fashion week the other day. I’ve seen him skiing, I wanna challenge him for a little skiing race in few years time. But he’s enjoying life and it’s nice to see that.”
Djokovic also stunned his mother, who was present at the courtside with an epic gesture. “I would like to say something, today is the birthday of my physiotherapist who is not here. He left for the locker room but I want to say Happy Birthday to him and Happy Birthday to my mother, which was yesterday.
“So my mom is here Love You Mom!”
Soon after Djokovic said this the entire arena started singing Happy Birthday and the Serb also joined the chorus.
In the other semifinal, Stefanos Tsitsipas will lock horns with USA’s Karen Khachanov.