Tennis

Novak Djokovic targets Roger Federer’s Major record

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Novak Djokovic has played 69 Major events since the 2005 Australian Open. Novak has collected 54 quarter-finals, proving his incredible consistency at all four tournaments and different surfaces. Djokovic’s first Major quarter-final came at the 2006 Roland Garros, and he remains competitive 16 years later. The Serb has earned 17 Major quarter-finals since the start of 2017, reducing the deficit to Roger Federer and moving closer to him. Roger leads the field with 58 Major quarter-finals, and Novak should catch and pass him by 2024. Djokovic’s 54th Major quarter-final came at the Australian Open, surviving a hamstring injury and lifting his tenth Melbourne Park trophy. Thus, Novak joined Rafael Nadal at 22 Major crowns, hungry for more in the rest of the season. Djokovic injured his left leg during the season’s first tournament in Adelaide. He defeated Sebastian Korda in the final and came to Melbourne with question marks over his participation at the season’s first Major.

Novak defeated Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round, doing enough in the opening two sets and delivering a bagel in the third for a nice start. However, his left leg bothered him a lot in the second round against Enzo Couacaud. The French qualifier claimed the second set against the struggling opponent. However, the Serb shifted into a higher gear and delivered a bagel in the fourth set to preserve energy. Novak did not look good against Grigor Dimitrov in the third round, asking for a medical timeout and barely prevailing in the opening set. Djokovic used his experience and sealed the deal in straight sets to preserve energy for the upcoming duels.

Novak Djokovic stands four Major quarter-finals behind Roger Federer. 

Novak felt much better on the court against Alex de Minaur, with no signs of injury. Djokovic took down the crowd’s favorite in two hours and six minutes to send a clear message to his opponents and advance into his 54th Major quarter-final, reaching at least one in every season since 2006. Injury-free and motivated, Novak stormed over Andrey Rublev en route to the semi-final, beating the Russian 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 for a place in his tenth Australian Open semi-final. Tommy Paul came back from 5-1 down in the first set, but it was all we saw from the first-time Major semi-finalist. Djokovic took charge in sets two and three to seal the deal and advance into the title clash. Stefanos Tsitsipas stood across the net, seeking his first Major crown. Novak delivered a 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 victory in two hours and 56 minutes, prevailing in the pivotal moments to maintain a perfect record in the Australian Open finals and write history books. 

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