Karen Khachanov sparks political row at the Australian Open
After wrapping up his quarter-final match against a retiring Sebastian Korda, Khachanov wrote ‘Atrsakh stay strong!’ on a TV camera, in solidarity with Armenian protests for independence in the embattled Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“I have Armenian roots,” said Khachanov on Tuesday, after defeating Sebastian Korda to move into the semi-finals. “From my father’s side, from my grandfather’s side, even from my mum’s side. To be honest, I don’t want to go deeper than that. I just wanted to show strength and support to my people.”
Read more in Simon Brigg’s report here.
Elsewhere in the men’s quarter-finals
Yesterday, Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Jiri Lehecka, 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-4, and Karen Khachanov swiped victory in three sets after Sebastian Korda retired in the third set.
This morning, Ben Shelton fell to compatriot Tommy Paul in a tightly-contested match which went to four sets; their all-American battle, and Korda’s inclusion, made this the first grand-slam quarter-finals featuring three US men for the first time in 18 years.
One step closer to his 10th title Down Under?
Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live coverage of the fourth Australian Open men’s quarter-final, which sees Novak Djokovic face number-five seed Andrey Rublev at the Rod Laver Arena.
Djokovic already holds the record for the most Australian Open wins, but has a statement-making tenth win in his sights, having cruised through the draw to banish soured memories of last year’s deportation spectacle. His blistering 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory over home favourite Alex De Minaur en route to today’s match sets him up as the most-likely contender, and although there were early doubts over his fitness – Djokovic has played through the competition with heavy strapping on his left thigh – he said in his on-court interview after beating De Minaur that he felt ‘great’.
“I didn’t feel anything today,” Djokovic said. “Today was great. I keep on going, I don’t want to celebrate too early. I was feeling really good in the first match, second one not so great, so I know things can change really quickly, I don’t take anything for granted.”
In a later Serbian press conference, he blasted those who had doubted that he was legitimately injured, adding that he was the only player subjected to these kind of rumours.
“Only my injuries are questioned. When some other players are injured, then they are the victims, but when it is me, I am faking it. It is very interesting… I don’t feel that I need to prove anything to anyone.”
Rublev, too, has had a confident journey thus far in Melbourne, his greatest test coming in his fourth-round match against Holger Rune which went to five sets, but Rublev clinched the victory in time, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (tiebreak 11-9).
Seeded only one place below Djokovic at this year’s competition, the Russian player – competing under a neutral flag – has beaten Djokovic once during their previous three encounters.
Stick with us as we bring you all the build-up before the first serve at approximately 8.30am UK time.