No man has won more Australian Open titles than Novak Djokovic, so obviously he has worked out a routine for getting through the rounds.
After needing less than an hour to get through his quarterfinal match — the six-time champion was leading 6-1, 4-1 when Kei Nishikori retired with a sore right leg — he was asked about the prospect of a final featuring the players ranked No. 1 and No. 2.
“Right now it’s my press conference, so it will be nice to talk about me more than Nadal,” he said. “If you want to talk about our possible encounter, we talk about that if we both win semis.”
Rafael Nadal plays 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday in the first of the men’s semifinals. Djokovic takes on No. 28-seeded Lucas Pouille on Friday.
Djokovic is back in the semifinals at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2016, when he defended his title to end a sequence of five Australian titles in six years.
He shares the men’s record for most Australian titles with Roger Federer and Roy Emerson. After winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, the 31-year-old Serb is hoping to make it three major titles in a row.
Djokovic has a 27-25 edge in career-head-to-heads with Nadal, whose 17 major titles include only one in Australia (2009).
Their only career meeting at Melbourne Park was in the 2012 final, when Djokovic won an epic five-setter 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5.
DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.
The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.
Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.
“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”
Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.
J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.
John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.
DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.
Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.
Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.
The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.