Misc Tennis

Australian Open 2023: Who can stop Novak Djokovic winning record-extending 10th title?

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has not lost at the Australian Open since 2018
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 16-29 January
Coverage: Commentary every day from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra ‘Tennis Breakfast’ live from Melbourne, with selected live text commentaries and match reports on the BBC Sport website & app

Can anyone deny Novak Djokovic a record-extending 10th men’s singles title at the Australian Open?

Only two other top-10 seeds remain at the quarter-final stage, with 2022 champion Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud among those to suffer early exits.

Of those still standing in Melbourne, 21-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic is the only major winner.

Despite being hampered by a hamstring injury, he has lost only one set in his four matches so far as he looks to make up for lost time after missing last year’s tournament.

The former world number one, who was deported after his visa was cancelled in 2022, has not lost a match at the Australian Open since 2018.

Can anyone stop him this year?

Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev celebrates
Andrey Rublev has never advanced beyond the quarter-finals at the Australian Open

Fifth seed Rublev will be the next to try, when he takes on Djokovic in the quarter-finals on Wednesday at 08:30 GMT.

The Russian came back from 5-0 down in a final-set tie-break to beat Danish 19-year-old Holger Rune in the fourth round.

Rublev, 25, is aiming to reach a maiden Grand Slam semi-final but has lost in straight sets in two of his three previous encounters with Djokovic.

Tommy Paul

Tommy Paul celebrates
Unseeded Tommy Paul had lost in the second round in his past two visits to Melbourne

Should Djokovic get past Rublev, American Paul awaits in the semi-finals following his win over talented young compatriot Ben Shelton.

The 2023 Australian Open is already one to remember for Paul, who is enjoying his longest run at a Grand Slam having never previously progressed past the third round.

The 25-year-old world number 35 defeated tour veteran Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets in the fourth round – his second triumph over a seed in Melbourne having earlier beaten another Spaniard, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, in five sets.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates
Stefanos Tsitsipas is into the last eight in Melbourne for the fourth time

Greek third seed Tsitsipas is the highest ranked player remaining in the draw and, after beating Jiri Lehecka in straight sets, is into his fourth semi-final in Melbourne in five years.

The 2021 French Open finalist, 24, had won 11 successive sets before he survived a fightback by Jannik Sinner in the fourth…

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