Djokovic* 1-0 Rublev (*designates server)
Djokovic opens his serve with a double fault, which sends a murmur of surprise around the court. Only his 13th double fault of the tournament, and an inauspicious way to open a quarter-final. But Djokovic comes out on top moments later, after Rublev misses his return into the net.
He reaffirms parity with a stinging ace, then forces Rublev to hit too deep into the back of a 120 mph serve. But at 40-15, Rublev serves a smart forehand that bypasses Djokovic entirely.
But when dragged into the first rally of the game, Rublev under pressure finds the net.
Djokovic wins the coin toss
He chooses to serve and the pair begin their warm-ups. A light but lingering breeze ruffles their shirts, Rublev’s curls pinned by an electric blue headband.
Hovering just off the pitch
Alone, Rublev makes neat round trips, while Djokovic is nowhere to be found; he is only too happy to let his adversary wait for him.
Eventually, Djokovic emerges and tracks Rublev, dressed in electric blue, down the tunnel. The Russian is the first out and cheered loudly, but nothing can match the cheers and excitement of Djokovic, so popular once again in this competition.
Can Rublev stop a player who seems unstoppable?
A certain Nick Kyrgios, who is recovering from knee surgery, shared his thoughts as he watched Djokovic take on compatriot De Minaur. Well, absolutely.
Karen Khachanov sparks political row at Australian Open
After concluding his quarter-final match against a retired Sebastian Korda, Khachanov wrote “Atrsakh stay strong!” on a television camera, in solidarity with Armenian protests for independence in the besieged Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“I have Armenian roots,” Khachanov said on Tuesday after beating Sebastian Korda to advance to the semi-finals. “From my father’s side, from my grandfather’s side, even from my mother’s side. To be honest, I don’t want to go any further than that. I just wanted to show strength and support for my people.
Read more in Simon Brigg’s report here.
Elsewhere in the men’s quarter-finals
Yesterday Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Jiri Lehecka, 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-4, and Karen Khachanov took the win in straight sets after Sebastian Korda retired in the third set.
This morning, Ben Shelton fell to fellow countryman Tommy Paul in a hotly contested match that went down to four sets; their all-American battle and Korda’s inclusion made it the first grand slam quarterfinals featuring three American men for the first time in 18 years.
One more step towards his 10th Down Under title?
Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live coverage of the Australian Open men’s fourth quarter-final, which sees Novak Djokovic take on number five seed Andrey Rublev at the Rod Laver Arena.
Djokovic already holds the record for most Australian Open wins, but has a tenth victory in sight, having come through the draw to banish sour memories of last year’s deportation spectacle. His dazzling 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory over local favorite Alex De Minaur en route to today’s match made him the likeliest candidate, and although there were doubts initially on his fitness – Djokovic played through the competition with heavy straps on his left thigh – he said in his on-court interview after beating De Minaur that he felt “good”.
“I didn’t feel anything today,” Djokovic said. I know things can change very quickly, I don’t take anything for granted.”
In a subsequent Serbian press conference, he lambasted those who doubted he was legitimately injured, adding that he was the only player subject to such rumours.
“Only my injuries are questioned. When other players are injured, they are the victims, but when it’s me, I pretend. It’s very interesting… I don’t think I need to prove what whether it’s for someone.”
Rublev, too, has had a confident run so far in Melbourne, his biggest test coming in his fourth-round match against Holger Rune which went to five sets, but Rublev took the win in time, 6 -3, 3-6, 6 -3, 4-6, 7-6 (tie-break 11-9).
Seeded just one place behind Djokovic in this year’s competition, the Russian player – who plays under a neutral flag – has beaten Djokovic once in his last three meetings.
Stick with us as we bring all the preparation to you before the first service around 8.30am UK time.