Australian Open: Novak Djokovic edges out Alexander Zverev to reach semi-final
Defending champion Novak Djokovic overcame some hurdles to defeat Alexander Zverev 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(6) and seal his spot in the Australian Open semi-finals on Tuesday.
The world number one hit back strongly after losing a tight opening set on a tiebreak but initially trailed in the third and fourth set before making a comeback.
Germany’s Zverev will regret allowing Djokovic back from 4-1 down in the third set and 3-0 in the fourth.
The Serbian again wore a tape on his abdominal area, due to the injury that took place in the third-round against Taylor Fritz. But it did not appear to bother him as he reached his 39th Grand Slam semi-final.
He will be facing an unlikely opponent, Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who won against Grigor Dimitrov earlier in the day.
Zverev began confidently and secured the first break of the match but failed to convert a set point on Djokovic’s serve when leading 5-3.
However, he faltered on his serve at 5-4 and Djokovic took the set into a tiebreaker for Zverev to finally win a 59-minute set.
The Serb succeed in winning the second set in just 29 minutes but his level dropped at the start of the third.
When Zverev was ahead 0-30, Djokovic found another gear and went on to win 20 out of the next 24 points to move one set away from victory.
The game saw another momentum shift as Zverev took a 3-0 lead in the fourth set and have three points to move to 4-0 lead. But Djokovic put his best foot forward to bring himself back into contention.
The decider was crucial as Djokovic saved a set point at 5-6 and wrapped up the match with his 23rd ace.