Top seed Novak Djokovic fought off dangerous Canadian Denis Shapovalov with a high-octane performance on Friday to set up an Adelaide International semi-final with former world number one Daniil Medvedev.
The Serb, aiming for his 92nd career title in preparation for this month’s Australian Open, overcame early stumbles before hitting his stride to win 6-3, 6-4.
She now meets Medvedev, runner-up at the last two Grand Slams in Melbourne, who proved too strong for compatriot Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-3.
“I think the scoreboard probably doesn’t give you the right idea of what happened on court, it was such a tight match – two hours for two sets,” Djokovic said.
“The first set was extremely exhausting for both of us, we pushed ourselves to the limit physically…I’m definitely pleased with the way I fought tonight.”
He got off to a shaky start, losing two break points in a long first game.
But he rallied to hold and after a nearby firework display interrupted play for five minutes, he began to take the measure of the Canadian and broke for 5-3 before serving out for the set.
Djokovic raced to a 3-1 lead in the second set and it looked all but Shapovalov rallied before the 35-year-old extended his career record over his opponent to 8-0.
Little split Medvedev and Khachanov through their first six games before Medvedev hit 12 of 15 points to break twice and take the first set.
Khachanov opened up a 3-1 lead in the second, but couldn’t withstand the pressure when Medvedev came back.
“It’s never easy to play with your compatriot. I’m happy that I managed to raise my level, especially at the end of the two sets and very happy to reach the semifinals,” said third-seeded Medvedev.
“I’m playing well right now, and honestly, that’s all that matters.”
Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka also advanced, beating Australia’s Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (8/10), 6-2 to continue his strong early season form, after having defeated world number 11 Holger Rune.
He set up a semi-final against American Sebastian Korda after his 7-5, 6-1 victory over sixth seed Jannik Sinner, who had treatment on his hip at the end of the first set and looked hampered. in the second
– Jabeur tops the female winners –
Women’s top seed Ons Jabeur fell behind 3-0 in the first set against Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk, but rallied to win 7-6 (7/5), 7-5.
“I didn’t start like I wanted to … I was just telling myself to hit two or three balls to get into the game,” Jabeur said. “I’m really glad I didn’t go three sets with her.”
The Tunisian will face rising Czech teenager Linda Noskova for a place in the final after overcoming veteran Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (8/6).
World number five Aryna Sabalenka held off Marketa Vondrousova to book her place in the quarter-finals.
The Belarusian overcame the hot conditions to dismiss her Czech opponent 6-3, 7-5 and continue her strong late-season 2022 form where she finished runner-up at the WTA Finals.
The second seed’s reward is a quarter-final showdown with Romanian veteran Irina-Camelia Begu, who defeated Russian world number nine Veronika Kudermetova 7-5, 6-4.
“I think because I’m very calm and I feel at home here, that’s why I play so well,” Sabalenka said. “I haven’t been thirsty yet. Hopefully, I’ll keep it up.”
The Australian Open starts in less than two weeks.