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Australian Open: Novak Djokovic pat for Andrey Rublev

The only chance I have is if I play my best tennis, just fight for every ball, and that’s it, says Rublev
Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic.
File picture

Reuters   |   Melbourne   |   Published 25.01.23, 06:29 AM

Novak Djokovic remains on track for his 10th Australian Open crown after returning to his best and although Andrey Rublev is not looking forward to Wednesday’s quarter-final clash, he is still hoping to stop the Serbian’s title charge.

In a moment of disarming honesty after his five-set win over Holger Rune, Rublev conceded he was not relishing the opportunity to face 21-time grand slam champion Djokovic on his favourite court.

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“No one wants to face Novak,” Rublev blurted out with a laugh on Rod Laver Arena. “The only chance I have is if I play my best tennis, just fight for every ball, and that’s it,” Rublev told reporters later.

Djokovic has been thriving on his return to Melbourne. “Incredible firepower, especially from the serve and forehand corner. Just a very explosive player,”  Djokovic said in praise of his opponent.

The other men’s match on Wednesday features unseeded Americans Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul, with both reaching their first grand slam quarter final.

There is also a fresh face in the women’s draw, with Poland’s Magda Linette taking on Karolina Pliskova.

Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka faces unseeded Croatian Donna Vekic.



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