Djokovic advances to face Medvedev in Adelaide

ADELAIDE, Australia — Novak Djokovic beat Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4 at the Adelaide International on Friday to set up a semifinal with Daniil Medvedev.

The combined ATP-WTA event is a warmup for this year’s Australian Open, which the top-seeded Djokovic missed last year after being barred from the country because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Early on he was a better player. He was dictating,” Djokovic said after improving to 8-0 against his Canadian opponent. “[Then] I started finding my serve and my groove on the court.”

Medvedev, the runner-up last year to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open, defeated fellow Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-3 on Friday.

“It’s never easy to play your compatriot,” Medvedev said. “I’m happy that I managed to really raise my level, especially in the end of both sets, and really happy to be through to the semis.”

Medvedev, the 2021 US Open champion, has lost twice in the finals in Australia, including in 2021 against Djokovic.

“I don’t think there’s going to be too many short points tomorrow unless we both serve well,” Djokovic said. “Normally when you play Daniil, you have to be ready to go the distance, physically, mentally, game-wise.”

As he prepares to face Djokovic next, Medvedev said he is also hoping for another meeting at the Australian Open, along with another Nadal clash.

“Playing against Rafa and Novak is a privilege,” Medvedev said. “I’m disappointed that, when I started to play better, went into the top 10, I didn’t manage to play Roger Federer because I lost to him three times [before that].

“I was already not bad, but I was not where I am right now. I still have the chance to play Rafa and Novak, and every time I have this chance, I want to win. I want to try to do my best.”

In other quarterfinals Friday, American Sebastian Korda defeated sixth-seeded Jannik Sinner 7-5, 6-1 and Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan beat Alexei Popyrin of Australia 7-6 (4), 6-7 (8), 6-2. Korda will face Nishioka in the semifinals.

On the WTA side, teenage qualifier Linda Noskova beat two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka. The 18-year-old Czech player overcame Azarenka 6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6) in a quarterfinal that lasted nearly three hours.

A first-round winner over third-seeded Daria Kasatkina, Noskova has now won five consecutive matches in only her sixth appearance in the main draw of a WTA event.

World No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka was the first woman through to the semifinals after beating Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 7-5.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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