Novak Djokovic’s plan as Daniil Medvedev sets up blockbuster Australian Open final

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic discusses injury issues

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Novak Djokovic spoke on Thursday about his plans before Sunday’s Australian Open final. The Serb will go up against Daniil Medvedev in the final after the Russian beat Stefanos Tsitsipas. And it promises to be quite the showdown at the Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic cruised into the final, beating Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

And Medvedev did the same on Friday morning, battering Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 to set up the mouthwatering showdown.

Now, attention will turn to Sunday’s final.

And, speaking after his victory over Karatsev on Thursday, Djokovic outlined his plan to watch the semi-final and practice accordingly.

“Both playing terrific tennis. I’m going to enjoy watching their match tomorrow with my team and coach and analyse,” he said.

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“I’ll then get on the practice court the next day before the finals and depending on who I play I’ll work on specific things.

“Really the priority now is recharging the batteries, feeling recuperated for the finals, I’ve had enough hits, enough practices, enough match play and I’m ready.”

Djokovic was also delighted after his victory over Karatsev, saying afterwards: “I expected Aslan to play on a high level, I’ve seen him play against really high-ranked opponents in this tournament.

“He played great. He just strikes the ball so well and he is very strong physically, he’s a big guy, he has a very good serve and he picks up most of the returns and plays it flat straight under your feet so you have got to be ready and I think I executed my game plan and tactics I set up with my coach really well.

“It was an even match until 3-3, 4-3 in the first.

“He then played a sloppy-ish game, with new balls, 4-3, I made him play, I mixed up the pace of the ball.

“I wanted him to always have a different rotation on the ball coming from my side and never really know what is coming. I didn’t want to play predictable and it worked very well.

“Aslan was hitting very flat and deep in the court so I just wanted to give myself slightly more space between my racquet and the ball.

“I just wanted to be patient and constructive in the play, not really going for anything spectacular if I’m not in the right position on the court and if I don’t have the right ball.

“I thought I came out really strong, solid, no pain, just moved very well and everything worked terrific. I’m really pleased with the performance.

“I think today was my best performance of the tournament so far, the best I have felt on the court, the best I was hitting the ball.

“It came at exactly the right time, just before the most important match, and it’s going to be a tough one with Tsitsipas and Medvedev both in great form.”

Djokovic then defended Serena Williams after she was dumped out of the competition by Naomi Osaka.

“Regardless of the amount of years that you’ve played on the tour, and the experience that you have, you still feel [the pressure] on your shoulders,” he said.

“I can empathise with Serena and what she’s going through.

“She’s such an amazing champion that inspires both male and female athletes around the world, and what she has been doing, still is doing, in her age is extraordinary.

“I’m sure she’s disappointed, I heard she was also emotional in the press conference.

“Regardless of all the success that she had, I know that when you lose a big match, you’re frustrated, you’re p***** off.

“But I think when you see a larger picture for her, who she is, what she stands for, on and off the court, I mean, she is one of the greatest ever, no doubt, athletes, not just tennis players.

“I’m proud. I’m proud and honoured to be playing at the same time she does, and to see her greatness, experience her greatness, is a thrill.”

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