The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Djokovic, Williams, Osaka star in Australian Open semi-finals

Djokovic, Williams, Osaka star in Australian Open semi-finals

TENNIS: Novak Djokovic will look to stay on track for an 18th Grand Slam title, while Serena Williams has the formidable figure of Naomi Osaka blocking her path to a record-equalling 24th when the Australian Open semi-finals begin today (Feb 18).


Thursday 18 February 2021, 09:24AM

Novak Djokovic ventures into unknown territory against Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev later today as he aims to reach the final of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: AFP.

Novak Djokovic ventures into unknown territory against Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev later today as he aims to reach the final of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: AFP.

Around 7,500 fans will be back on a reduced capacity Rod Laver Arena, after a five-day state coronavirus lockdown, but Djokovic will be in unknown territory in the night match against Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who he has never played before.

The world number one, who has been hampered by an abdominal injury, confessed he had not seen much of the tournament’s surprise semi-finalist - who has already seen off three seeds - but that he wouldn’t take the world number 114 lightly.

“He’s impressed a lot of people with his movement and firepower from the baseline,” said Djokovic of Karatsev.

“He doesn’t have anything to lose, really. He’s motivated.”

Karatsev, who is guaranteed to rise into the world’s top 50, is the first man in the Open era to reach a semi-final on his Grand Slam debut, and just the second qualifier to do so at the Australian Open after Bob Giltinan in 1977.

Earlier Williams, the 10th seed, opens proceedings on Rod Laver against Osaka aiming to keep alive her dream of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam crown, wary of again falling victim to the Japanese superstar who beat her in the 2018 US Open final.

The winner will play for the championship on Saturday against either Czech 25th seed Karolina Muchova or American 22nd seed Jennifer Brady, who clash in the second semi-final on Melbourne Park’s main show court.

Bring my A-game’

Williams, 39, sits one behind Margaret Court’s elusive all-time mark of 24 majors after losing four Slam finals since her 2017 victory at Melbourne Park while pregnant.

Internal - Phuket News TV

One of those was the controversial 2018 US Open final defeat to Osaka, where the American star was docked a point and a game after losing her temper when warned about coaching.

Osaka was booed by some fans and was in tears during the awards ceremony, later calling what should have been her moment of glory “a little bittersweet”.

Williams said both players had reached “closure” on the painful moment, which has seen them inextricably linked ever since.

They have played each other just once since that New York meeting, in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rogers Cup in Toronto which Williams won in straight sets.

Brady will face Muchova in the other semi-final, with a maiden Slam final guaranteed for one of them.

Muchova, fresh from her upset of top-ranked Ashleigh Barty yesterday, said she had noted Brady’s “very big strokes” in their one previous meeting, when she beat the American in Prague in 2019.

“So definitely going to be a tough battle,” she said of Brady, who toppled compatriot Jessica Pegula to make her second major semi-final after last year’s US Open.

“I think I will have to bring my A-game to play with her because she is really playing amazing matches, having a good season.”

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Be the first to comment.


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
United Phuket domestic tourism campaign to hit the road

I have had a home in Phuket 20 years. House on the market and moving off the island. Every year I ...(Read More)

Monopoly: Phuket Edition tokens go on holiday

@tamvong You forgot the "Serial complaining expats" !...(Read More)

Bangla shooter released on bail

Some very pertinent questions. 15K in UK money is one hell of a lot of money in Thailand. Perhaps hi...(Read More)

Bangla shooter released on bail

A RTP cpl, able to fork up Thb 600,000 bail? Wow, Good brown envelope sharing in the past. Long liv...(Read More)

Bangla shooter released on bail

Protesting Students in BKK, bail refused!! Suthep and ministers in BKK, involved in BKK protests 201...(Read More)

Bangla shooter released on bail

Thankfully, Thailand will remain the 4th world country that appears to be desired. Bail? Seriously?...(Read More)

Bangla shooter released on bail

I was going to say 'unbelievable' but as this is Thailand its just another day. One ponders ...(Read More)

Patong jet-skis cleared for compliance

As its against the law for businesses to operate on the beach how are they 'complying'? By o...(Read More)

Bated breath as locals wait for first leatherback turtle nest on Kata Beach for 20 years to hatch

How tacky to have a crowd of people gathered. Of course, food vendors have to be there with their n...(Read More)

Phuket prepares for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

When will be the vaccination turn for healthy foreign retirees of 60+? Specially those who have to d...(Read More)