MELBOURNE, January 23, 2019
Novak Djokovic will take on Lucas Pouille in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Pouille defeated in-form Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4 on Wednesday afternoon on Rod Laver Arena before Djokovic benefited from the retirement of Kei Nishikori due to injury later in the evening.
“I love to battle, especially against Kei, we’ve played so many matches,” said Djokovic, who has reached the stage of the final four in Melbourne for the seventh time in his career and 34th at Grand Slams.
“I hope he can recover, I hope it’s not something that is very serious. I’m sorry for everybody for not having a full match tonight.”
Pouille beats Raonic
The 28th seed Pouille, who is coached by former Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo, withstood 25 aces hitting 14 of his own to secure victory in three hours and two minutes.
“I didn’t have to face a break point for almost three hours,” said Pouille. “Even if I lost the third set, in my mind it was clear I had to stay focused on my service game, taking care of that, then trying to put as many returns as I can. In the third set I had some break points. He always saved it really well with a good serve, good points. Then he played a good tie-break.
“Here we are. It’s a fourth set. I’m still leading two sets to one, so I don’t have to panic. I really needed to stay positive, still doing what I did great for two hours [and] 30 minutes.”
The 24-year-old Frenchman will appear in his first Grand Slam semi-final on Friday. Pouille and Djokovic will meet for the first time.
Day/Night Attendance: 51,297
This is a second Wednesday Day/Night record – previous record AO 2018 (48,796).