Novak Djokovic reached the semi-finals of the ATP tournament in Adelaide on his way to the Australian Open. However, there will be no duel Down Under against the current number 1 in the world Carlos Alcaraz.
The 35-year-old Serb defeated the Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6: 3, 6: 4 on Friday and will face the Russian Daniil Medvedev in the round of the top four in a duel between two former world number ones.
“I think the result doesn’t reflect the picture of what happened on the pitch. It was such a close match – two hours for two sets,” said Djokovic, who is aiming for his 92nd title: “I’m definitely satisfied with the way I fought tonight.”
Djokovic spectacularly missed the Australian Open last year after trying to enter Melbourne without a corona vaccination. However, his visa was declared invalid. After days of forced quarantine in a deportation hotel and several court hearings, he had to leave the country one day before the start of the Grand Slam tournament.
Djokovic was also hit with a three-year travel ban, but this was lifted following a change of government in Australia. No proof of vaccination is currently required to enter Australia.
Injured Carlos Alcaraz misses Australian Open
World number one Carlos Alcaraz (19) will not take part in the Australian Open due to injury. The Spanish shooting star announced this on Friday evening via Twitter. In training before the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, he suffered a muscle injury in his right rear thigh.
“When I was in top form, I injured myself with an unnatural movement,” wrote the 2022 US Open winner: “I’ve been working very hard. It’s a difficult moment, but I have to be optimistic, recover and post look ahead.”
Alcaraz already missed the ATP finals in Turin and the Davis Cup with the Spanish team at the end of last year. At that time, a torn muscle in the left abdominal wall, which he suffered in the quarterfinals of the Masters in Paris at the beginning of November, put him out of action. In the duel with the Dane Holger Rune, the Spaniard had to give up, it will be his last game so far.
In September, after his final victory in New York over the Norwegian Casper Ruud, Alcaraz rose to become the youngest number one in tennis history.
The Australian Open will be held in Melbourne from January 16th to 29th, Grand Slam record winner Rafael Nadal is now number one on the seeding list. The German Olympic champion Alexander Zverev celebrates his Grand Slam comeback after an injury break of almost seven months.