MELBOURNE: Jannik Sinner swept past Andrey Rublev in straight sets to reach his first Australian Open semifinal, where he faces a daunting task against defending champion Novak Djokovic.
The Italian fourth seed was rock solid on serve throughout the encounter on Rod Laver Arena, winning 6-4, 7-6(7/5), 6-3 against the Russian fifth seed.
“It’s obviously very tough to play against him,” said Sinner.
“We’ve had tough matches in the past.
“Today was three sets but I could have lost both (the first two). First set, he had so many break points and I somehow served really well. I just tried to move him around.
“I’m just trying to stay aggressive. It went my way today so really happy.”
A single break gave Sinner the first set but the turning point in the contest came when he powered back from 5-1 down in the second set tie-break.
Sinner won six points in a row to take a vice-like grip on the match, including an astonishing cross-court winner at the end of a dramatic 24-point rally.
The 22-year-old is into his second Grand Slam semifinal after reaching the last four at Wimbledon last year.
He is just the second Italian man to reach the semis in Melbourne after Matteo Berrettini achieved the feat in 2022.
Facing 10-time champion Djokovic is an ominous task for Sinner but he will take comfort from a victory over the Serbian in the Davis Cup in November.
But defeat in Melbourne spells heartbreak for 26-year-old Rublev, who has now failed to win a Grand Slam quarterfinal in 10 attempts.