Got outplayed and outclassed yesterday. –Alex De Minaur 

By Roger Childs

Zero to hero

Last year he was the villain for Victorian authorities for refusing to be jabbed with that substance, this year he is the hero of the tournment. Novak Djokovic is possibly the best tennis player of all time and seems to be headed for another grand slam title. In the fourth round he thrashed a very good player, local hopeful Alex De Minaur 6-2 6-1 6-2. Let’s face it Djokovic is in a class of his own. Some commentators derided the Serbian legend about an alleged hamstring problem, but De Minaur commented the we should “focus on the tennis for a change”.

Last year The Joker was deported after an absurd government decision overruling the Australian Tennis authorities. The tennis legend was not vaccinated against the coronavirus, so he was banished from the country.

Quarter and semi finals

Both the men and women have played some of the quarter finals and by Thursday 26 January all the semi-finalists will have been found. The women’s final is on Saturday evening and the surviving last two of the men will clash on Sunday. 

At the time of writing, Greek Stephanos Tsitsipas who is the third seed, will meet Karen Khachanov playing “stateless” as he is from Russia, is one semi-final.  Djokovic has his toughest game coming up against Russian Nikolay Rublev, but should prevail to meet an American – either Tommy Paul or Ben Shelton – in the other semi-final.  The form book suggests that a Tsitsipas – Djokovic final looks likely.

On the woman’s side Belorussian, Aryna Sabalenka at fifth, is highest ranking remaining seed, and should prevail over Croatian Donna Vekic.

In the other quarter-final Czech Karolina Pliskova, a former world number one, will meet the unseeded Magda Linette from Poland.

Picking winners

This is never easy! Howeve,r Novak Djokovic should collect his 22nd grand slam on Sunday to draw equal with Rafael Nadal for the most titles in majors. Aryna Sabalenka is likely to pick up her first singles grand slam. 

There should be some high quality tennis in the remaining three days in this the opening and hottest major of 2023.