Image source: Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic reacted to Rafael Nadal’s exit from the Australian Open and gave a positive injury update. The Serbian has warned his potential opponent in the final, that he’s feeling “no pain”.
The world No 1 reached his ninth Australian Open final after beating Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev in the semi-final. It was the Serbian’s 20th straight Australian Open victory.
“This is the best I’ve felt in the entire tournament,” said Djokovic. “I felt great. I could swing through the ball. No pain. Just the best match so far. It came at the right time. I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled to feel this way.”
The top seed was full of plaudits for Karatsev after his remarkable run to the semi-finals on his debut of a Grand Slam event.
“We need to give him a hand,” added Djokovic. “Huge congratulations to him on his debut, he reached semi-finals. I don’t think it happened in the history of tennis so well done to him. He played a great tournament.”
Djokovic will face either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final, with the pair facing off on Friday for a spot in the Australian Open finale for the first time. Tsitsipas beat world No. 2 Rafael Nadal on Wednesday night.
“I did watch it from midway third set,” said the Serb. “I thought Stefanos did incredibly well to hang in there. Rafa was playing amazing. He was dominating the match. Somehow he turned it around. Stefanos played a really solid tiebreak and next thing you know he’s in the match. It was a high-quality match, probably the best match of the tournament so far. Both these guys played a very high level.”