Djokovic enters 10th Australian Open final

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic reacts during the semifinal against Tommy Paul. Photo: Reuters/Carl Recine

Melbourne: Novak Djokovic shrugged off controversy involving his father to reach a record-extending 10th Australian Open final with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 win over outgunned American Tommy Paul on Friday.

Nine-time champion Djokovic will meet third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday's decider after the Greek booked his first final at Melbourne Park by beating Russian Karen Khachanov in the earlier semifinal.

Serbian Djokovic's father Srdjan created a distraction for his son ahead of the semifinal after a video emerged showing him posing with fans holding Russian flags, which were banned at Melbourne Park early in the tournament.

With Srdjan declining to attend the semifinal for fear of creating further disruption for his son, fourth seed Djokovic was in a foul mood early at Rod Laver Arena and surrendered a 5-1 lead in the first set as unseeded Paul rallied to 5-5.

Djokovic then knuckled down.

In a furious counter-attack, he won 14 of the next 17 games to seal another one-sided victory in his bid for a 22nd Grand Slam title.

Stefanos Tsitsipas & Karen Khachanov
Stefanos Tsitsipas shakes hands with Karen Khachanov after the match. Photo: Reuters/Hannah Mckay

Tsitsipas blazed his way into the final with a 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 win over 18th seed Khachanov.

Tsitsipas had crashed three times at the semifinal stage at Melbourne Park.

The 2021 French Open runner-up forced an error on the Khachanov forehand to grab an early break only to immediately surrender his serve.

The pair traded breaks again in a see-sawing opening set but Tsitsipas came alive in the tiebreak and surged ahead in the match before getting his nose in front in the next set when Khachanov's level dropped.

Despite being rattled by three foot faults and two time violations on serve, Tsitsipas looked more comfortable after wining the second set.

The 24-year-old broke Khachanov for a 2-1 lead in the third but the Russian bravely drew level at 5-5 before it went to a tiebreak.

Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning his semifinal against Karen Khachanov. Photo: Reuters/Hannah Mckay

Tsitsipas hit two superb inside-out forehands to draw roars from the crowd but squandered two match points and allowed Khachanov to take the set.

The Greek regrouped in the fourth set to go 3-0 up and finished the match in style to claim a place in his second Grand Slam final.

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