Australian Open—Melbourne, Australia
Nine-time Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic took another step toward his 22nd career Major on Wednesday in Melbourne, easily dispatching No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
In match that lasted two hours and three minutes, Djokovic hit 14 aces, won 80 percent of his first serve points and broke serve on five occasions. Improving to 4-1 against Rublev in lifetime meetings, Djokovic will next face Tommy Paul, who dismissed his countryman Ben Shelton, 7-6(6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
Djokvic and Paul have never played on Tour.
Elsewhere, No. 5 seed Aryna Sabalenka took positives steps toward winning her first Major on Wednesday, dismissing Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-2. Despite her poor head-to-head record of 5-1 for Vekic leading into the match, Sabalenka proved that her overwhelming power was too much for her Croatian opponent.
Sabalenka will next face surprising semifinalist Magda Linette, who dispatched No. 30 seed Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 7-5.
Thursday’s action in Melbourne will feature the women’s semifinals. Two-time former winner Victoria Azarenka will take on reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
(4) Novak Djokovic Defeats (5) Andrey Rublev 61 62 64
Tommy Paul Defeats Ben Shelton 76(6) 63 57 64