Novak Djokovic has once again grabbed the headlines in Australia as he knocked out top-10 Rublev to equal Agassi’s unbeaten streak in Australia as he is on course to break the record and set a new one at the Australian Open 2023.
Once Djokovic is in Australia, he doesn’t care who you put in front of him. He has won his last 39 matches, 26 of them on the courts of Melbourne Park and most of them at Rod Laver Arena.
Djokovic already has more wins in Victoria’s capital (87) than at Wimbledon (86). This time, on the Australian centre court, it was Andrey Rublevwho fell to a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 defeat.
The second act began with the third break of the Serb, who sought perfection in every shot, as in every game. That is why when he loses a point he shouts for explanations to his bench, specifically to his coach, Goran Ivanisevic.
Rublev was was getting desperate because he couldn’t hit any of his four break points. The score jumped to 5-2 down in the second set. The outcome accelerated irreparably from then on. Novak did everything right and it reflected in the scoreline.
Djokovic, again with bandages on his left thigh, but without signs of pain, is now approaching another feat. He is two wins away from a 10th title, which would be his 22nd major, equalling Rafael Nadal’s all-time high.
Djokovic is the same distance away from regaining the world no.1 ranking held by Carlos Alcaraz. The Balkan tennis player, who started the tournament as the fifth seed, is currently second, ahead of Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Spectators who boo Djokovic to be kicked out
Notwithstanding his outstanding performance, some rival fans continue to boo him. As a result, Australian Open director, Craig Tiley indicated that spectators who boo and disrespect Novak Djokovic from the stands on some of the courts at Melbourne Park will be ejected.
“If they continue to disrupt anyone else’s enjoyment, they will be out. We don’t want them here. They have to be respectful or we will kick them out for bad behavior,” Tiley explained.
“The one thing I’ve always liked about Melbourne is that there’s a great appreciation for excellence and for sport, I think more than anywhere else in Australia. I’m pretty sure the fans in Melbourne, like the fans in Adelaide, will be just as good.”Craig Tiley
Andy Murray has also asked for respect towards Djokovic. “I don’t like to see players booed, it’s not a nice feeling. Novak got a lot of support in Adelaide, I’m sure it will be the same in Melbourne,” Murray added.
Novak, despite having missed six tournaments in 2022 due to his refusal to take the vaccine, could even regain the ATP crown on January 30, if he wins in Adelaide and in the first major of the year.
The 2023 Australian Open is a Grand Slam level tennis tournament that is taking place at Melbourne Park, from 16–29 January 2023. It is the 111th edition of the Australian Open, the 55th in the Open Era, and the first major of the year. The tournament consists of events for professional players in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Junior and wheelchair players will compete in singles and doubles tournaments. As in previous years, the tournament’s main sponsor is Kia.
Rafael Nadal and Ashleigh Barty are the reigning champions in Men’s singles and Women’s singles, respectively. Neither of them defended their titles as Nadal lost in the second round to Mackenzie McDonald and Barty retired from the sport in March 2022.