One person who made it to the male semi-finals at the AO 2021 and who actually participates at a Grand Slam for the first time is the Russian Aslan Karatse. The world number 114 defeated Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria with 2:6, 6:4, 6:1, 6:2. Even though Dimitrov won over Dominic Thiem from Austria in round 4, he could not perform at the same height in the quarter-finals. Apparently, he was handicapped by back pain against Karatsev and could only move around the court with difficulty towards the match’s end. Aslan Karatse only secured a place in the main draw via the qualifying round played in Doha. With his win against Dimitrov, he is the lowest-ranked player in the Melbourne semi-finals according to the world rankings since Patrick McEnroe in 1991 and in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam since Goran Ivanisevic at Wimbledon in 2001.
Karatse will play against the Djokovic-Zverev match-winner. The game is currently being played as this article is being written.
Serena Williams, who fights for her 24th Grand Slam title made it to the semi-finals as well. The 39-year-old won over world number two Simona Halep with 6:3, 6:3. On February 18, Serena will face Naomi Osaka from Japan who defeated Hsieh Su-Wei from Taiwan in just 66 minutes with 6:2, 6:2.