Djokovic destroys the Russian qualifier to reach the ninth final of the Australian Open

Defending champion Novak Djokovic finished the remarkable run of Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev to ease his ninth Australian Open final with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory on Thursday.

In one of the more unlikely matches in the semifinals of a Grand Slam, Djokovic was twice broken by world number 114 Karatsev but ensured that there would be no Russian revolution under Rod Laver Arena.

When a long tournament took its toll on Karatsev, Djokovic raised his game in the third set and sealed the victory with an ace to trigger a roaring ovation from Serbian fans in the audience.

Djokovic will face either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final.