Djokovic surges into the 10th final. The Serbian tennis star beats Paul 7-5,6-1, 6-2. and will now face Tsitsipas for the title.

Melbourne : A rampant Novak Djokovic surged into a 10th Australian Open final Friday to close in on a record - equalling 22nd Grand Slam crown, with only Stefanos Tsitsipas now standing in his way.

The Serbian fourth seed overcame an early wobble to romp past unseeded American Tommy Paul 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena in style.

Another title will move him alongside Rafel Nadal with 22 Slam wins and see the 35-year-old return to world number one for the first time since last June.

Djokovic had never played Paul before and said he was wary of a '' very explosive, very dynamic player '', with the American initially refusing to go quietly.

The Serb, a hot favorite, attacked his opponent's straight away for an early break, then broke again when the 35th-ranked Paul fired a forehand long to race 5-1 in front. A run-in with the umpire over using his towel between points seemed to rattle Djokovic and he was broken twice in a row as Paul came surging back to 5-5.

Djokovic regrouped to hold serve and break again and take the set in 59 minutes.

After that wobble, it was all business, despite his clutching his strapped hamstring several times, romping through the next two sets with minimal resistance.

He will meet Tsitsipas next after the Greek battled into his first Australian final and only second at a Grand Slam. [ AFP]


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