Novak Djokovic questions ‘mental effect’ of him being in the Australian Open final will have on his potential opponent after overcoming stomach injury and underdog Aslan Karatsev
- Novak Djokovic reached the Australian Open final with win over Aslan Karatsev
- The world No 1 overcame the underdog Russian in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
- The injured Serbian now faces Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in final
Novak Djokovic pronounced himself miraculously cured of his stomach muscle ailment ahead of his ninth Australian Open final on Sunday.
He is yet to lose any of his eight championship matches in Melbourne and lies in wait for the winner of the semi-final between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Having been the subject of mid-tournament drama, Djokovic declared himself pain-free and confident after easily seeing off rank outsider Aslan Karatsev, of Russia, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Novak Djokovic reached the Australian Open final by beating Aslan Karatsev in straight sets
The World No 1 overcame a mighty effort from 114th-ranked Russian Karatsev in Melbourne
‘I never lost in the finals or semi-finals, it just makes me feel more comfortable being on the court,’ the world No 1 said. ‘Each year is different, although it does have a mental effect on me, and maybe on my opponents.’
After a five-day ban, fans were allowed back into Melbourne Park on Thursday, and on Friday Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury were due to have their Brit showdown in the men’s doubles semi-final.
Both are previous Australian Open champions in the two-man code, with Murray partnered by Bruno Soares and Salisbury by Rajeev Ram.
Karatsev was far from overwhelmed by Djokovic but his efforts were not quite enough
The top seed let out a mighty roar when he took the second set – and it proved to be decisive
Spectators were able to return to the Rod Laver Arena following a five-day local lockdown
The 27-year-old will sky rocket into the top 50 having never previously been in the top 100
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