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6 Jan, 2023 13:49

Djokovic sets up Medvedev showdown

The Serb sealed a place in the semifinals of the Adelaide International
Djokovic sets up Medvedev showdown

Novak Djokovic will face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the last four of the Adelaide International after the Serb overcame Denis Shapovalov in straight sets in their quarterfinal on Friday.

Top seed Djokovic battled past the Canadian 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 55 minutes to book a mouthwatering clash with Medvedev, who won his quarterfinal against compatriot Karen Khachanov earlier in the day.

“Normally when you play Daniil, you have to be ready to go the distance, physically, mentally, game-wise,” Djokovic said ahead of Saturday’s meeting with the Russian number three seed.

“He’s definitely one of the best players in the world for the past five years. He’s established himself as a Grand Slam winner and a number one in the world, so he’s someone I respect a lot. We had some amazing battles over the years and I’m hoping for another good battle tomorrow.”

Djokovic holds an 8-4 advantage over Medvedev in their head-to-head record and has prevailed on the last three occasions that the pair have met – most recently in an epic contest at the ATP Finals in Turin in November.

Despite the Adelaide International’s fairly modest status as an ATP 250 event, it is being used by the likes of Djokovic and Medvedev as an important tune-up for the Australian Open in Melbourne later in January. Both Djokovic and Medvedev have started 2023 with intent, and neither has dropped a set thus far this week.

Djokovic, 35, has returned to Australia after having a three-year visa ban overturned by the government. The ban was imposed after the 21-time Grand Slam winner was deported last January in a row over his Covid vaccine status.

Djokovic is a record nine-time Australian Open winner and following his victory over Shapovalov he has now racked up 100 victories in the country – suffering just ten defeats. Medvedev, 26, is a two-time Australian Open finalist and won his first ever ATP tour title in the country back in 2018, when he claimed the Sydney International.