An intense Novak Djokovic brushed aside Daniil Medvedev on Saturday to set up an Adelaide International final against Sebastian Korda and played down injury concerns after appearing to tweak his hamstring.
The top seed, who has an ominous 22-1 record since September, was breathtaking at times as he cruised past the former world number one Russian 6-3, 6-4 in preparation for the Australian Open, where he is a nine-time champion.
In the women’s draw, unheralded Czech teenager Linda Noskova stunned world number two Ons Jabeur 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, with the qualifier into her first-ever final against second seed Aryna Sabalenka.
World number five Djokovic broke in both sets on Medvedev double-faults before lifting his intensity to storm home.
But he had a scare in the first set, clutching his left hamstring as he attempted to reach for a Medvedev cross-court forehand. He continued but then took a medical timeout.
“Thankfully nothing too serious, if it was I wouldn’t be able to continue,” he said.
“I just tried with some anti-inflammatories and it kind of settled in after a few games.
“I was just trying to keep the momentum going and don’t allow him to break my serve. The longer the match went my hamstring was warmer, I guess, and bothering me less.
“Hopefully for tomorrow it will be all fine,” he added.
Unseeded Korda, son of former world number two Petr Korda, was in charge 7-6 (7/5), 1-0 of his match when Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka called for a medical timeout for treatment in his upper right leg before pulling out of the match.
“Very excited for the way I’m playing and a lot of confidence leading into the big one (final),” said Korda, 22, who won his first and only title on clay in Parma in 2021, while making two finals last year.
“Excited to play either one (Djokovic or Medvedev). It’s always a great thing to learn from different kinds of players.
“It’s going to be a great learning experience whatever the outcome and, you know, I’m going to go for the win.”
- ‘100 percent’ -
Noskova, 18, had already upset two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka en route to the semis and carried that into her clash with Jabeur in only her sixth tour-level event.
“I don’t think either of us played 100 percent and I’m glad I got that last point to win, just really glad to play like this,” said the world number 102.
“I’m just going for it 100 percent all the time, just trying to push through.”
Jabeur had treatment on a lower back problem at 2-5 in the first set, but she bounced back to easily take the second before struggling in the third.
Sabalenka surged into the final by crushing Romanian veteran Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-2.
“I’m happy with the level I played today,” said the Belarusian, who is targeting an 11th career title and a first since Abu Dhabi and Madrid in 2021.
“She’s playing a different style so super happy that I was able to be in the match.
“We did everything right in the pre-season, I think this is the key,” she added in explaining her good early-season form, where she is yet to drop a set.