Djokovic saves energy: now in the semifinals against pouille

Djokovic saves energy: Now in the semifinals against Pouille

With unexpected short work, tournament favorite Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals of the Australian Open. After only 51 minutes, his Japanese opponent Kei Nishikori retired at 6:1, 4:1 for the world’s number one tennis player.

As sorry as Djokovic was for the exhausted former US Open finalist and the crowd in Melbourne, the 31-year-old was glad to have saved energy. "That’s exactly what the doctor prescribed for me – not to spend too much time on the court," said Djokovic, who was challenged for a good three hours in his round of 16 match on Monday.

Nishikori needed more than five hours for his victory over the Spaniard Roberto Carreno Busta and had to go into a fifth set for the third time in the tournament. In Wimbledon and at the US Open Djokovic had won in the previous year also in each case against Nishikori and then won the titles.

On the hoped-for road to becoming the first player to lift a seventh Australian Open trophy, Djokovic faces Frenchman Lucas Pouille on Friday. It’s the tenth semifinal in Melbourne alone for last year’s resurgent winner of 14 Grand Slam titles. The 24-year-old Pouille, on the other hand, made it to the final round for the first time at the four most important tournaments. The 31. of the world rankings won against Alexander Zverev’s Canadian vanquisher Milos Raonic 7:6 (7:4), 6:3, 6:7 (2:7), 6:4.

Pouille, who was advised by Tommy Haas in the meantime, praised his French coach Amelie Mauresmo after the victory. The former world number one had also coached Scotland’s Andy Murray and was supposed to take over the French Davis Cup team before deciding on Pouille instead. "She has the right attitude, she knows everything about tennis. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman," said Pouille, who had not won a match before this year’s tournament.

Already on Thursday (09.30 a.m. CET), the first finalist is determined. In a duel of the generations, the 32-year-old Spanish veteran Rafael Nadal and the 20-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas will face each other.

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