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Djokovic advances to face Medvedev in Adelaide semis

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA (AP) – Novak Djokovic beat Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4 at the Adelaide International yesterday to set up a semi-final with Daniil Medvedev.

The combined ATP-WTA event is a warmup for this year’s Australian Open, which the top-seeded Djokovic missed last year after being barred from the country because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Medvedev, the runner-up last year to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open, defeated fellow Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-3 yesterday.

“It’s never easy to play your compatriot,” Medvedev said. “I’m happy that I managed to really raise my level, especially in the end of both sets, and really happy to be through to the semis.”

Medvedev is the 2021 US Open champion, but has lost twice in the finals in Australia – and in 2021 it was against Djokovic.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic makes a forehand return. PHOTO: AP

“For sure I played well last year and I’m playing well right now,” Medvedev said, “To be honest, that’s all that matters. In order to win a slam, or be in the final, you have to be at your best for seven matches.

“I managed to do it once and I was really close last year,” he added. “And that’s what I’m going to try to do again in a few weeks in Melbourne.”

In other quarter-finals yesterday, American Sebastian Korda defeated sixth-seeded Jannik Sinner 7-5, 6-1 and Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan beat Alexei Popyrin of Australia. Korda will face Nishioka in the semifinals.

Teenage qualifier Linda Noskova also beat two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka. The 18-year-old Czech player overcame Azarenka 6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6) in a quarterfinal that lasted nearly three hours.

A first-round winner over third-seeded Daria Kasatkina, Noskova has now won five consecutive matches in only her sixth appearance in the main draw of a WTA event.

World number five Aryna Sabalenka was the first woman through to the semi-finals after beating Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 7-5.

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