……Novak Djokovic dominated Andrey Rublev – winning 6-1 6-2 6-4 – to progress to the semi-final stage of the first Grand Slam of the year as he chases a 10th Australian Open crown.

The 35-year-old produced a performance of sheer dominance as he set up a semi-final showdown with Tommy Paul. On the other side of the draw, Karen Khachanov faces Stefanos Tsitsipas for a spot in the final.

Novak Djokovic stormed into the semi-finals of the Australian Open with a commanding straight-sets win over fifth seed Andrey Rublev to continue his quest for a 10th Melbourne title.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion was in imperious form as he raced to a 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory over the Russian in two hours and three minutes to record a 26th consecutive victory at the tournament.

The Serbian landed 14 aces, 32 winners, and saved each of the five break points he faced in a match where the outcome was never in doubt.

American world No. 35 Tommy Paul, who defeated Ben Shelton in four sets earlier on Wednesday, will face Djokovic for a place in the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas or Karen Khachanov.

“It was very close to the performance of two nights ago [the fourth round,” said Djokovic. “I cannot be happier with my tennis.

“I’ve been playing very solid from the back of the court, love playing in these conditions and this court.”

After pushing Rublev to break point in his opening service game, Djokovic found the first break of the match in the second as some ferocious returning took the game to deuce before an unforced error and double fault from the Russian made it 3-1.

After another hold, Djokovic broke again but this time needed five bites at it before a powerful forehand into the corner ended Rublev’s resistance.

The 35-year-old was then made to save break point as Rublev finished the first set with a fight, but the Russian eventually succumbed as he went down 6-1 in 39 minutes.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for the 21-time Slam winner, though, as he became irate during the set and complained to the umpire about heckling from the crowd.

The second set started with two reasonably comfortable holds from each player, but Rublev then cracked again as he went 0-40 down and was broken when he netted the second break point, having saved the first.

Djokovic’s champion quality shone through in the following game as he was pushed hard by Rublev, who earned two break points but couldn’t take either, Djokovic producing a guttural roar when he saved the second on his way to a crucial hold.

He carried that momentum into the following game, winning four straight points as Rublev double-faulted to hand Djokovic the double break, the Russian getting frustrated with the crowd too at this point.

Rublev pushed again but was unable to convert a break point and Djokovic eventually edged a seven-minute game to serve out the second set.

Things didn’t get any easier for Rublev in the third as he was immediately broken in the opening game, saving two break points but succumbing on the third with an unforced error.

The fifth seed eventually got on the board with a hold to end a seven-game winning streak from Djokovic.

But he couldn’t find the break he needed to get back into the match as Djokovic served out in style, landing an ace on his way to a love hold.