Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev LIVE: Australian Open 2023 result and reaction

Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev LIVE: Australian Open 2023 result and reaction

Novak Djokovic delivered another masterclass at the Australian Open on Wednesday to thump fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-1 6-2 6-4 and reach the semi-finals at Melbourne Park where he is bidding for a record-extending 10th crown and 22nd Grand Slam title.

It marked the 44th time that Djokovic reached the last four at the Grand Slams, leaving him six ahead of Rafa Nadal and only two behind his other great rival and 20-times major champion Roger Federer.

“I can’t be happier with my tennis, I was solid from the back of the court. I love these conditions, this court, it’s definitely special for me,” Djokovic said.

Djokovic targeted Rublev’s forehand and second serve with venomous returns in windy conditions on Rod Laver Arena and went ahead 3-1 in the first set after the Russian fifth seed double-faulted on breakpoint and the Serbian pulled away from there.

“You have to make adjustments and adapt,” Djokovic said of playing in testing conditions. “It wasn’t breezy at six in the evening and it started all of a sudden.

“People in the stands or watching on TV don’t see it. But it makes a huge difference, as you have to pick and choose your shots and open up the court. The ball toss is a gamble.

“The scoreline in the opening two sets does not show the reality. Andrey’s a great opponent, he has one of the biggest forehands. I knew the gameplan, but it’s one thing to imagine and another to execute.”

After taking the lead in the match with a brilliant backhand crosscourt winner, Djokovic showed how hard he is to beat on the grandest stage despite a strapped thigh due to a hamstring issue after the fourth seed broke in the fifth game of the second set.

He played exquisitely to save a breakpoint in the next game and let out a huge roar before going on to double his advantage in the contest after a frustrated Rublev unloaded on his coach in the stands following another double fault.

Djokovic pounced early in the next set with Rublev appearing bereft of ideas and a seventh quarter-final defeat at a major looming, as the former number one closed out a convincing win on serve to set up a last-four meeting with American Tommy Paul.

“If I have to sum up the important shots, I found my best tennis,” Djokovic said.

“Obviously he (Paul) doesn’t have much to lose being in the semi-finals for the first time. He has been playing terrific tennis in the last 15 months.

“I have to be ready for the match mentally and not approach it differently. If I play this way, I have a good chance to go through.”

Australian Open 2023 - Day 10

Australian Open 2023

11:07 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic still puts the win over Alex De Minaur ahead of this performance to breeze past Andrey Rublev.

He says: “I would rank it as No 2, very close to the performance of two nights ago, I cannot be happier with my tennis, playing solid from the back of the court, there's no more special court for me.”

Australian Open 2023

11:01 , Jack Rathborn

Djokovic: “I think it was US Open in 2007, I was fortunate to win that semi-final.

“I lost the final to Roger. Let’s give a big round of applause to Roger guys, let’s go. He deserves it.

“I had some great battles with Roger over the years, tennis misses him, I’ve seen him dressing up very sharply for fashion week.

“ I want to challenge him to a ski race in a few years time. It’s nice to see, one of the most important players in the world. Big regards to him and his family.

“It’s the birthday of my physio, happy birthday to him and happy birthday to my mother, whose birthday was yesterday.”

Australian Open 2023

10:59 , Jack Rathborn

More from Djokovic: “I’ve been connected to machine, I tried about any bio feedback machine on this planet to get my leg ready, it worked.

“I miss tennis on the days off, but it’s important to dismount and recover.

“He doesn’t have much to lose, he’s been playing some terrific tennis. I’ve got to be ready, mentally, not approach it differently to the last few matches. I think I have a good chance.”

Australian Open 2023

10:57 , Jack Rathborn

Djokovic: “It makes a huge difference, you are under a lot of pressure, you have to pick your shots, the ball toss is a gamble.

“The first two sets don't speak of the reality of the match, we had some close games, Andrey is a great opponent and a great player, one of the biggest forehands and one of the quickest on the tour.

“All the important shots and moments, I found my best tennis, it’s what makes me so pleased.”

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 Andrey Rublev - Game, set, match!

10:51 , Jack Rathborn

Djokovic maybe was saving energy, immaculate placement and now three match points.

The slice forcing Rublev to think and then clattering the net.

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 5-4 Andrey Rublev

10:45 , Jack Rathborn

Here we go then, Djokovic forcing Rublev to serve to stay in the match.

That’s either immense strength from Rublev to hold, or Djokovic saving energy to serve it out.

A short break and then Djokovic will serve to make the semi-finals.

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 4-2 Andrey Rublev*

10:37 , Jack Rathborn

That’s a beauty, the serve out wide brings up his 13th ace of the match.

The width of these rallies too, Rublev chasing and looks demoralised when his forehand cannons off the frame of the racket.

You don’t need that, the dagger from Djokovic, off the net and cruelly dropping the other side. Game.

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 3-2 Andrey Rublev

10:34 , Jack Rathborn

Rublev now just looking to contain Djokovic, who looks poised to race into the semi-finals here.

Not much Rublev can do.

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 3-1 Andrey Rublev*

10:30 , Jack Rathborn

Novak ramping up his serve suddenly, fastest serve of the match for him there: 204kmph.

Rublev blazing long, easy for Djokovic when he doesn’t even get into the point.

Billie Jean King calls on Wimbledon to reverse ban on Russian and Belarusian players

10:28 , Jack Rathborn

Billie Jean King called for Wimbledon to allow Russian and Belarusian players to compete at the All England Club this year as Aryna Sabalenka set up the possibility of an all-Belarus Australian Open final.

Sabalenka defeated Donna Vekic 6-3 6-2 and will take on surprise package Magda Linette on Thursday while Victoria Azarenka plays Russian-turned-Kazakh Elena Rybakina.

With Russian Karen Khachanov through to the semi-finals in the men’s draw and Andrey Rublev also in the quarter-finals, the stakes could not be higher as Wimbledon organisers weigh up whether to reverse last year’s ban.

Billie Jean King calls on Wimbledon to reverse ban on Russian and Belarusian players

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 2-1 Andrey Rublev

10:26 , Jack Rathborn

Just sensational from Djokovic, the point is never given up on.

Rublev baffled as to how he collected that ball.

And another, this time the smash from Rublev after a crazy stretch and backhand from Djokovic to keep it alive, still, game point.

Hold he does, massive for Rublev and the crowd love it, they want a bit more tennis with just shy of an hour and 40 minutes so far.

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 2-0 Andrey Rublev*

10:23 , Jack Rathborn

Now the question surrounds Rublev and his versatility, is this a harsh lesson that can spark work to make him the great player he could blossom into with a few more tools.

Meanwhile, Djokovic easily holds, 2-0.

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 1-0 Andrey Rublev

10:18 , Jack Rathborn

Wow, Rublev, on the run, delivers a whipped forehand to save break point!

And another, Djokovic can’t control the second serve out wide, deuce.

Another chance for Djokovic to land what could be the decisive blow, Rublev chasing the drop shot and gets plenty of revs on that, but the net denies him. Break point.

Rublev misses the smash, explodes again, you feel for him, tormented by Djokovic’s brilliance.

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2 Andrey Rublev*

10:07 , Jack Rathborn

Rublev is fighting after a furious rant at his box.

Some massive forehands, showing how dangerous he can be when he times it.

Deuce and Rublev opts for aggression, big shots and now a break point.

Djokovic rallies and gets to a third set point, but Rublev isn’t going quietly, an in to out forehand and he brings it back to deuce.

More anger for Rublev after netting, a fourth set point, but that forehand is bludgeoned past the Serbian, deuce again.

It’s not to be for Rublev, game and second set, Djokovic just wouldn’t snap despite the pressure.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 6-1, 5-2 Andrey Rublev

10:02 , Jack Rathborn

Rublev having a pop at the chair umpire, he must calm down here.

Djokovic ready to snatch a double break at 30-40.

A double fault and he’s exploded, Djokovic 5-2 up. It looks like curtains.

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 6-1, 4-2 Andrey Rublev*

09:54 , Jack Rathborn

Djokovic is getting frustrated by the conditions, it’s so windy, his hair, which is short, blowing right back and his shirt rippling.

A chance for Rublev to carve out a break back at 15-30.

But the pressure to seize the chance is evident, a tense rally and then he cranks it up but nets with an audacious attempt at a forehand winner.

But Djokovic struggles to control that, off balance and the wind changes the trajectory of the ball and it drifts wide, break point!

But just like that, big serve, again, and Rublev blazes wide. Deuce.

Djokovic shaking his head again, stumbling backwards and netting with a backhand, break point two.

A second serve now, what a chance for Rublev, but that’s unstoppable. Absorbing some haymakers from Rublev and then sending a bomb with the forehand to bring up deuce.

Djokovic screams in delight. A quick two points, Rublev moaning to the chair umpire, and he holds. Massive.

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 6-1, 3-2 Andrey Rublev

09:47 , Jack Rathborn

Now then, Rublev has lost his head a bit here, it’s 0-40.

He saves one, Djokovic twisting and sends the backhand wide.

Too good from Djokovic and the break, immense nerve.

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 6-1, 2-2 Andrey Rublev*

09:43 , Jack Rathborn

191kmph on his second serve, are you kidding? Djokovic picking him moments superbly to go for it there.

Rublev was in that point, a high lob but then he nets, 30-0.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 6-1, 1-2 Andrey Rublev

09:40 , Jack Rathborn

Rublev cracks, his forehand goes deep, 15-30.

Extra venom on that one though, then another big serve, he has life, 2-1.

Djokovic furious too, screams at his box.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 6-1, 1-1 Andrey Rublev*

09:33 , Jack Rathborn

Rublev with a confidence booster there, a straight forward hold.

Djokovic upset with fans goading him courtside again. The fan appears to be shouting, “send him home, Rublev, send him home!”

Rublev fighting on the Djokovic serve, a big forehand and then the rush to the net and an easier slam. Deuce.

Djokovic with some heat on that second serve: 176 kmph. Game.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 6-1 Andrey Rublev*

09:24 , Jack Rathborn

Serving for the set then, brilliant backhand slice from Djokovic.

It spins viciously away from Rublev’s forehand. He can’t believe it, ‘how is that possible?’ seems to be the gist of what he’s saying.

A break point out of nowhere! But that's a brilliant serve and it vanishes quickly, deuce.

Djokovic has only been broken three times in the tournament.

Another chance! A double fault, Djokovic holds the pose, one-legged, confused. Rublev sniffs a chance.

Djokovic with the unreturned serve again. Clutch.

A poor smash and Djokovic performs another magic trick, escaping from a poor position to pass and bring up set point.

A poor smash and Djokovic makes no mistake, swatting a backhand deep, SET!

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 5-1 Andrey Rublev

09:17 , Jack Rathborn

Rublev with a rocket from inside to out to save break point.

He’s being pushed to the absolute limit and needs a 144kmph forehand to put Djokovic away.

Ooh, spicy, Djokovic upset with a fan again it seems: “Shut up! Every single point it's happened...”

Another break point saved, Rublev with some bombs on first serve.

And another, a serious test this for Rublev just to force Djokovic back a little, even if this set is probably gone, he can’t go two breaks down.

A fifth break point coming up... Too good! Repeatedly peppering Rublev’s backhand. Magnificent.

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 4-1 Andrey Rublev*

09:11 , Jack Rathborn

Djokovic’s plan is to force Rublev into audacious, risky strokes on the forehand.

It’s working, despite the odd winner, Rublev’s body language is slightly concerning, he looks dejected.

A comfortable hold, 4-1 and a big hole for Rublev.

 (AP)
(AP)

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 3-1 Andrey Rublev

09:06 , Jack Rathborn

Rublev's forehand given a close examination from Djokovic, But Rublev cranks it up on serve, 211kmph, the fastest of the match, but he needs that as Djokovic is producing fireworks.

No time wasted and the Serb is winning points with two to three strokes. Oh no, that's a double fault on break point and Djokovic has the edge!

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 2-1 Andrey Rublev*

09:00 , Jack Rathborn

A ruthless run to start Djokovic’s game on serve.

The wind coming from behind Djokovic’s back, Rublev perhaps needs to retreat somewhat behind the baseline.

Another double fault, Djokovic looks uncomfortable. Hmmm, not this again? How much do you read into the anguish and body language?

2-1 Djokovic, he ramped up the level just then, heavy ground strokes. Game.

Australian Open 2023: *Novak Djokovic 1-1 Andrey Rublev

08:55 , Jack Rathborn

A double fault this time for Rublev to open up his service game.

Spectacular rally! Rublev wins it with Djokovic spraying the 25th shot too deep.

Big power strokes from Rublev but Djokovic immaculate slicing back and defending.

There’s another winner, pummelled with the forehand. Then a big unreturned serve that Djokovic can only get the frame on. 40-15.

Magic from Djokovic, how did he get that smashed forehand at the net from Rublev back, a lob causes all sorts of bother from the brink of losing the game. Deuce.

That’s hammered by Djokovic, some venom on the forehand as it’s not even close to the line, break point!

Composure from Rublev, who holds from a tricky position.

Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic 1-0 Andrey Rublev*

08:49 , Jack Rathborn

A double fault from Djokovic to kick things off, it’s very windy out there!

A third serve out, but then a rocket on second down the line, 15-15.

The nine-time champion into a groove now and moves to game point.

But that’s a stunning return, Rublev wrapping the forehand around that across court and Djokovic barely moved. 40-30.

Ooh, interesting, Rublev nets and then glances in the direction of Djokovic’s box. One to watch. He must keep his emotions in check.

Australian Open 2023 - Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev

08:47 , Jack Rathborn

Both men hitting and close to ready.

Can Rublev push Djokovic? Is it wise to take the rallies deep, the hamstring looks fine now.

What will the No 5 seed do? He needs a squeeky clean game and very few unforced errors.

Time, both men taking one final drink. Novak to serve first...

Australian Open 2023 - Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev

08:36 , Jack Rathborn

Rublev is out, pacing...

Djokovic still in the locker room. This resonates with the Netflix footage of Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud.

It was Ruud, the underdog, who waited, before Nadal’s belated arrival before the walks to the court, acting like a gladiator in a mental statement towards his rival.

Over 100,000 people in attendance at the Australian Open last Saturday, emphasising the size of the grand slam and tournament.

Australian Open 2023 - Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev

08:31 , Jack Rathborn

Not long to go now, the crowd filling up Rod Laver Arena for Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev.

It’s the No 4 seed against the No 5 seed.

Tommy Paul awaits in the final four.

Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev head-to-head record

08:21 , Jack Rathborn

If you want to examine the form, then Djokovic nearing his best might make this one a straight forward straight sets for the Serbian.

But Rublev, has a victory over his illustrious rival and only trails 2-1 in the head-to-head.

That win for the No 5 seed was on clay in Belgrade last year, Djokovic holds the two wins from their only matches on a hard court, both straight sets in the ATP Finals from 2021 and 2022.

‘It took me 10 f***ing years’: Victoria Azarenka ‘finally over’ Australian Open criticism

08:07 , Jack Rathborn

Victoria Azarenka said it has taken her 10 years to get over the criticism she faced following her last Australian Open semi-final after finally making it back to the last four.

The Belarusian defeated Jessica Pegula 6-4 6-1 in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park on Tuesday and is putting together her best run since winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

The second of those proved controversial, with Azarenka taking a long medical time-out after failing to serve out a semi-final win over Sloane Stephens, who was then only 19.

Azarenka broke in the next game to clinch victory and told the crowd: “I almost did the choke of the year. I just felt a little bit overwhelmed realising that I’m one step from the final and nerves got into me for sure.”

‘It took me 10 f***ing years’: Victoria Azarenka ‘over’ Australian Open criticism

Novak Djokovic details ‘motivation’ from accusations he is ‘faking’ injury

08:01 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has hit back at critics accusing him of “faking” his hamstring injury by saying it adds to his motivation to win the Australian Open title.

The condition of the Serbian’s left leg has been a major talking point at Melbourne Park after he arrived at the tournament nursing the injury and then took medical timeouts in his second and third-round matches.

But he still won both and then dispatched Alex De Minaur with a ruthless display in the fourth round on Monday, losing only five games.

Novak Djokovic responds to accusations he is ‘faking’ Australian Open injury

Novak Djokovic details ‘motivation’ from accusations he is ‘faking’ injury

07:55 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has hit back at critics accusing him of “faking” his hamstring injury by saying it adds to his motivation to win the Australian Open title.

The condition of the Serbian’s left leg has been a major talking point at Melbourne Park after he arrived at the tournament nursing the injury and then took medical timeouts in his second and third-round matches.

But he still won both and then dispatched Alex De Minaur with a ruthless display in the fourth round on Monday, losing only five games.

Speaking to Serbian media in quotes reported by tennismajors.com, Djokovic hit back at those questioning whether he is really injured, saying: “I leave the doubting to those people – let them doubt.

Novak Djokovic responds to accusations he is ‘faking’ Australian Open injury

Tommy Paul gets better of Ben Shelton to reach Australian Open semi-final

07:47 , Jack Rathborn

Tommy Paul got the better of fellow American Ben Shelton to reach his first grand slam semi-final at the Australian Open.

Both men were surprise quarter-finalists but 25-year-old Paul used his greater experience to secure a 7-6 (6) 6-3 5-7 6-4 victory and book a last-four date with either Novak Djokovic or Andrey Rublev.

The run of 20-year-old Shelton, in just his second grand slam and on his first trip outside the USA, has been one of the stories of the tournament.

Tommy Paul gets better of Ben Shelton to reach Australian Open semi-final

Australian Open 2023: Tommy Paul advances to semi-finals after win over Ben Shelton

07:42 , Jack Rathborn

Djokovic vs Rublev will be the final men’s quarter-final after Tommy Paul’s superb win over compatriot Ben Shelton.

Paul prevails 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to make his first ever grand slam semi-final.

He will take on the winner of Djokovic vs Rublev.

Aryna Sabalenka to take on unseeded Magda Linette in Australian Open semi-finals

07:35 , Jack Rathborn

Aryna Sabalenka will take on surprise package Magda Linette in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Fifth seed Sabalenka has arguably been the most impressive player in the women’s draw this fortnight and she maintained that form against Donna Vekic to win 6-3 6-2.

The Belarusian is yet to drop a set in her nine matches in 2023, combining her trademark power with more control and a renewed confidence in her big serve, which was such a liability last year.

Aryna Sabalenka to take on unseeded Magda Linette in Australian Open semi-finals