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Djokovic crushes Rublev in straight sets, advances to 2023 Australian Open semis

Djokovic, 35, boasts 92 wins on the ATP circuit and he is currently the world’s No. 5 ranked player

MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. /TASS/. Russia’s top tennis player Andrey Rublev lost to Serbia's Novak Djokovic on Wednesday in a quarterfinal match at the 2023 Australian Open.

In the match at the Rod Laver Arena that lasted for 2 hours and three minutes earlier in the day, the 4th-seeded Djokovic breezed past 5th-seed Rublev in three sets: 6-1; 6-2; 6-4.

"Overall, I think that the scoreline in the first two sets doesn't speak the truth or the reality of the match," the ATP official website quoted Djokovic as saying after his match against Rublev.

"It was some really close games that we had," he continued. "Andrey is a great opponent, a great player. I've got tonnes of respect for him, one of the biggest forehands, one of the quickest players on the Tour."

"If I have to sum it up, all the important shots, the important moments I found my best tennis. So that's what makes me the most pleased tonight," the Serbian tennis star said, adding that it was "very close to the performance of two nights ago."

Djokovic, 35, boasts 92 wins on the ATP circuit and he is currently the world’s No. 5 ranked player. The Serbian is the winner of 21 Grand Slam titles (nine Australian Opens, seven Wimbledons, three US Opens and two French Opens).

Playing under a neutral status at the 2023 Australian Open, Rublev made his way to the quarterfinals battling through Dominic Thiem of Austria, Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori, Daniel Evans of the United States and Denmark’s Holger Rune.

Rublev, 25, is currently ranked 6th in the ATP (the Association of Tennis Professionals) Ranking List and he is the winner of 12 ATP tournaments. He has also appeared in numerous Grand Slam tournaments, never going further than the quarterfinals. While playing for the Russian national team, he took home the gold at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in mixed doubles (with teammate Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova) and also won the 2021 Davis Cup.

2023 Australian Open

The 2023 Australian Open tournament is played on hard courts at Melbourne Park between January 16 and 29 and it has $53.4 million in prize money up for grabs. The opening tournament of the annual Grand Slam series in Australia marks its 111th edition this year. Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Australia’s Ashleigh Barty are the reigning Australian Open champions in men’s and women’s singles respectively.

The Russian men's singles champions at the Australian Open tournaments were Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1999) and Marat Safin (2005). Russia’s Daniil Medvedev reached the final of the tournament in Melbourne last year, but eventually lost to Rafael Nadal of Spain.

Russian players’ neutral status at tennis tournaments

On February 28, 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments, citing Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine as the reason.

Following the IOC’s recommendations in late February last year, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) ruled on March 1, 2022 to suspend the membership of the Russian and Belarusian national tennis federations and also canceled all previously scheduled tennis tournaments in these countries.

On March 14, 2022 the ITF also confirmed its ban on the Russian and Belarusian national tennis teams from taking part in the 2022 Davis Cup and 2022 Billie Jean King Cup.

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) allowed tennis players from Russia and Belarus to continue participating in WTA and ATP tournaments, but under a neutral status.