Djokovic defies turmoil and dreams of a masterpiece

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Father stays away after spiral “Z”
Djokovic defies turmoil and dreams of a masterpiece

Serbian Novak Djokovic is a great tennis player, but his strength is rarely outdone. Also at the Australian Open, he caused upsets again this year. It is about Russia, Ukraine and his father. But in terms of sports, he is still on the right track.

Novak Djokovic patted his heart twice, pointed to the sky and blew kisses towards his mother, Dijana, who came without dad Srjan. “I have a big fantasy, but I never imagined it,” Djokovic said when he reached his 10th Australian Open final 15 years after his first win in Melbourne. Djokovic prevailed on his first nine attempts.

Despite the tumultuous upheaval surrounding his father, the Serbian tennis star took the penultimate step towards the 22nd greatest with a safe victory in the finale 7:5, 6:1, 6:2 against apparent outsider Tommy Ball of the USA – victories for Islam that would This puts him on par with record champion Rafael Nadal. Djokovic should complete his masterpiece on Sunday (9.30 a.m. / Eurosport and in the live stream on Against the strong Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who presented himself strongly after 7: 6 (7: 2), 6: 4, 6: 7 (6: 8), 6: 3 against the Russian Karen Khachanov.

“I’ll take a chance and prepare for the big day,” said the 24-year-old, adding that it was a childhood dream of mine. “It’s an ultimate dream,” said Boris Becker of Eurosport. “When it comes to first place in a Grand Slam final, this is the final. One way or another, tennis history will be written.” The winner will lead the world rankings from Monday.

One place in the box remains empty

Before getting down to business on Sunday between title favorite Djokovic, who doesn’t look entirely impenetrable, and his fiercely determined opponent, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka and Wimbledon winner of Kazakhstan, Yelena Rybakina, will fight for the women’s title and about two on Saturday (9.30am / Eurosport). A prize of one million euros. In Sabalenka, for the first time, a player can win a Grand Slam title under a neutral flag, whose home country, like Russia, is sanctioned.

The topic was suddenly present in Melbourne after the Djokovic semi-final. Djokovic’s father had himself photographed at Melbourne Park with people displaying, among other things, the Russian flag including a picture of Vladimir Putin. On Friday, Serjan Djokovic announced shortly afterwards that he would not be able to play his son’s match. One place in the box remained empty.

“We only wish for peace”

“I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption,” Serjan Djokovic wrote in a statement. His family “lived through the horrors of war, and we only want peace.” Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Miroshnichenko, had previously demanded that the aging Djokovic’s accreditation be revoked. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who watched the match from the stands, said he did not want to “support the Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

So there was a lot of upset, which at first didn’t seem to get past Djokovic without a trace. In the first set he looked restless at times and built up a 5-1 lead. “There are too many sideline war scenes that disturb his concentration,” said Becker, Djokovic’s former coach at Eurosport. But Djokovic fought back in exemplary fashion and made the final dream perfect – for Djokovic it is already his 33rd Grand Slam final.

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