Australian Open: Djokovic ties Serena and within one of Evert ahead of 33rd slam final

By Sports Desk January 27, 2023

Novak Djokovic will play his 33rd grand slam final on Sunday, extending his men's Open Era record and edging closer to Chris Evert's leading mark across all singles players.

Djokovic beat Tommy Paul at the Australian Open on Friday to advance to a 10th Melbourne final, having won each of the prior nine.

The Serbian has also played nine title matches at the US Open, eight at Wimbledon and six at the French Open.

Even before this latest semi-final success, his tally of 32 major men's singles finals was unmatched in the Open Era.

But the 33rd saw Djokovic match Serena Williams in second place among both male and female players, with only Evert out ahead now on 34.

Djokovic will no doubt back himself to reach and perhaps pass that record before the year is out, with Roger Federer having retired and Rafael Nadal injured again – those two great rivals no longer keeping pace with the 21-time slam champion. A 22nd success on Sunday would equal Nadal's record.

With victory over Paul, Djokovic joined Federer and Nadal as the only male players in the Open Era to reach 10 or more finals at one major.

Federer went to 12 Wimbledon finals, while Nadal has played the title match at Roland Garros on 14 occasions.

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    Andy Murray confirmed he is set to retire this summer after losing to Ugo Humbert in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

    Murray produced his best win for several months in the first round by seeing off Denis Shapovalov but fell to a 6-2 6-4 loss against 18th-ranked Frenchman Humbert.

    Speaking to reporters post-match, the 36-year-old said of his future: “I’m likely not going to play past this summer.

    “I get asked about it after every single match that I play, every single tournament that I play. I’m bored of the question, to be honest.

    “I’m not going to talk more about that between now and whenever the time comes for me to stop. But, yes, I don’t plan on playing much past this summer.”

    Murray has not won more than a single match at any tournament since August and, after beating Shapovalov, the Scot talked about trying to do his best “these last few months”.

    Murray has said previously he has an idea of when he would like to bow out, and he told Radio 4’s Today programme: “When the time is right I will probably say something before I play my last match and my last tournament.”

    While Wimbledon appears the most logical venue for Murray to call time on his glittering career, the Scot is tempted by another crack at the Olympics in Paris this summer.

    Murray is the only tennis player to have won back-to-back singles gold medals, in London and Rio, and he said: “Hopefully I can get the chance to compete at another one.”

    If the Scot does not qualifying by ranking – he has slipped down the standings to 67 – he could seek a spot in the draw as a previous champion.

    Murray dropped serve twice in succession in the opening set against Humbert and was unable to apply any real pressure on his opponent’s delivery, winning just seven return points during the contest.

    The second set was a little closer, but Murray cut a thoroughly frustrated figure, ranting at himself and smacking the umpire’s chair with his racket, as he attempted to trade with the clean-hitting Frenchman, who clinched victory after only an hour-and-a-half.

  • Andy Murray well beaten by Ugo Humbert in Dubai Andy Murray well beaten by Ugo Humbert in Dubai

    Andy Murray’s search for back-to-back wins goes on after he was comfortably beaten by Ugo Humbert in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

    Murray produced his best win for several months in the first round by seeing off Denis Shapovalov but fell to a 6-2 6-4 loss against 18th-ranked Frenchman Humbert.

    Murray dropped serve twice in succession in the opening set and was unable to apply any real pressure on Humbert’s delivery, winning just seven return points during the contest.

    The second set was a little closer, but Murray cut a thoroughly frustrated figure as he attempted to trade with the clean-hitting Frenchman, who clinched victory after only an hour-and-a-half.

    Murray has not won more than a single match at any tournament since August and speculation continues around when he will depart the court for good.

    After beating Shapovalov, the Scot talked about trying to do his best “these last few months”, but he has now hinted he would like to keep going until at least this summer’s Olympics.

    Murray has said previously he has an idea of when he would like to bow out, and he told Radio 4’s Today programme he is likely to make that information public at some point.

    “When the time is right I will probably say something before I play my last match and my last tournament,” he said. “Whether I say anything months ahead of the time, I don’t know.”

    While Wimbledon appears the most logical venue for Murray to call time on his glittering career, the Scot is tempted by another crack at the Olympics in Paris this summer.

    Murray is the only tennis player to have won back-to-back singles gold medals, in London and Rio, and he said: “Hopefully I can get the chance to compete at another one.”

    If the Scot does not qualifying by ranking – he has slipped down the standings to 67 – he could seek a spot in the draw as a previous champion.

  • Andy Murray still holding on to Olympic dream with end of career looming large Andy Murray still holding on to Olympic dream with end of career looming large

    Andy Murray has hinted he will keep going until at least this summer’s Olympics.

    The 36-year-old has been speaking openly about the impending end of his career this season and said after beating Denis Shapovalov in Dubai on Monday: “I probably don’t have too long left, but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months.”

    Murray has said previously he has an idea of when he would like to bow out, and he told Radio 4’s Today programme he is likely to make that information public at some point.

    “When the time is right I will probably say something before I play my last match and my last tournament,” he said. “Whether I say anything months ahead of the time, I don’t know.”

    While Wimbledon appears the most logical venue for Murray to call time on his glittering career, the Scot is tempted by another crack at the Olympics in Paris this summer.

    Murray is the only tennis player to have won back-to-back singles gold medals, in London and Rio, and he said: “Hopefully I can get the chance to compete at another one.”

    If the Scot does not qualifying by ranking – he has slipped down the standings to 67 after a difficult start to the year – he could seek a spot in the draw as a previous champion.

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