Novak Djokovic expecting ‘another long night’ after setting up tasty Danill Medvedev clash

Shahida Jacobs
Novak Djokovic in action

The first big clash of the 2023 season will see Novak Djokovic take on Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final of the Adelaide International and the former is “ready to go the distance”.

Playing on Australian soil for the first time since the 2021 season, Djokovic enjoyed some decent workouts in the first two rounds and his quarter-final clash against Denis Shapovalov was no different.

The 21-time Grand Slam winner defeated Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4, but the one hour, 55-minute contest was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests.

Djokovic saved two break points in an extended opening game and another one in the fifth game before he got a crucial break in game eight. He then broke in game three of the second set only for the Canadian to draw level again in game six.

The top seed got a second break in game nine and then served it out to earn a semi-final date with Medvedev, who beat Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-3.

The two will square off for a 12th time at the top level with Djokovic leading the head-to-head 8-4 while he also won their most recent encounter at the ATP Finals in London in November.

“Hopefully [it will be] another long night, the Serbian said. “I don’t think there’s going to be too many short points tomorrow unless we both serve well. Normally when you play Daniil, you have to be ready to go the distance, physically, mentally, game-wise.

“He’s definitely one of the best players in the world for the past five years. He’s established himself as a Grand Slam winner and a No 1 in the world, so he’s someone I respect a lot. We had some amazing battles over the years and I’m hoping for another good battle tomorrow.”

Medvedev lost the 2021 Australian Open final against Djokovic, but he turned the tables on the Serbian as he defeated him in the US Open final later in the year.

“In Australia we’ve played three times… I’m not going to touch too much on this but I lost all of them,” Medvedev said. “It’s a challenge to play Novak in Australia.

“Maybe it can be easier in Adelaide than Melbourne, you never know, but it’s a challenge and it’s a great test before the Australian Open to play one of the best ones and probably the best player ever in terms of Australian tennis.”

The other semi-final will see Sebastian Korda take on Yoshihito Nishioka. American Korda upset sixth seed Jannik Sinner 7-5, 6-1 while Nishioka secured a 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (8-10), 6-2 win over Alexei Popyrin.

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