Karatsev had bounced back from two sets down against Felix Auger-Aliassime this fortnight, and sparked a comeback attempt at 1-2 to break with a stick of dynamite forehand.
Djokovic instantly dismissed the threat and closed out four straight games with his 17th ace. One step away from major No.18.
Now, to check out his final opponent on TV.
“Stefanos did incredibly well to somehow to turn it around,” mused Djokovic, having caught Tsitsipas’ quarterfinal comeback to topple Rafael Nadal. “That was probably the best match of the tournament so far, such a high level.
“Speaking of high level, Medvedev is the guy, playing the highest level of anyone in the last three or four months. It’s going to be really interesting, always high intensity between them. I’m going to take the popcorn and enjoy it.”
He’s rubber-stamped his name into the all-time greats, learning this week he will overtake Federer’s record of 310 weeks atop the rankings in March.
Will he toast such a momentous achievement by notching number nine in Melbourne?