ADELAIDE, Australia ( Associated Press) — Novak Djokovic beat Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4 at the Adelaide tournament on Friday to set up a semifinal against Daniil Medvedev.
The joint ATP and WTA event serves as a build-up to this year’s Australian Open. Top seed Djokovic pulled out of the tournament last year after being banned from the country for not getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
“He was a better player in the beginning. I was dictating,” admitted the 35-year-old Djokovic, who improved to 8-0 against his Canadian opponent. “Then I started finding my serve and rhythm on court.
The winner of 21 Grand Slam titles, who is preparing to win his 10th Australian Open title, will face third seed Medvedev on Saturday.
Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Rafa Nadal in last year’s Australian Open final, beat fellow Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3 6-3 on Friday.
Medvedev said, playing against compatriots is never easy. “I’m happy that I was really able to improve my level, especially at the end of both sets, and happy to be in the semi-finals.”
Medvedev won the US Open in 2021 and lost two finals in Australia, including one against Djokovic.
In other quarterfinal matches, American Sebastian Korda beat Jannik Sinner 7–5, 6–1 and met Yoshihito Nishioka in the semifinals, who edged out Australian Alexey Popyrin.
In the women’s draw, teenager Linda Noskova defeated double Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-7(3), 7-6(6) in a quarterfinal match that lasted nearly three hours.
Winning in the first round against third seed Daria Kasatkina, Noskova won five straight matches in six main draws at WTA events.
Aryna Sabalenka, ranked fifth in the world, was the first player to reach the semi-finals, defeating Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 7-5.