MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) —
Novak Djokovic was still in the first set of his
Australian Open quarterfinal against Andrey Rublev when the guy who would face the winner of that match,
Tommy Paul, sat down for a news conference.
"Probably have a better chance of winning if it's Rublev," Paul said with a smile, "but to play Novak here in Australia would be awesome."
Well, he'll get that chance Friday at Rod Laver Arena in the semifinals.
Djokovic was never really tested en route to beating No. 5 seed Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday night to extend his winning streak at Melbourne Park to 26 matches, tied with Andre Agassi for the longest run by a man there in the Open era, which dates to 1968.
If he makes that 28 in a row with victories over the unseeded Paul and then either No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas or No. 18 Karen Khachanov in Sunday's final, Djokovic would earn his 10th championship at the Australian Open, adding to a mark he already owns, and his 22nd from all Grand Slam tournaments, equaling Rafael Nadal's record for men.