Defending champion Novak Djokovic celebrates his semifinal win on Thursday. MELBOURNE: Defending champion Novak Djokovic declared himself fighting fit for the Australian Open final after ending the incredible run of Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev with his “best match” of the tournament on Thursday. The Serbian world number one eased into his ninth decider at Melbourne Park with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win under the lights at Rod Laver Arena and will battle either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Daniil Medvedev for the title. Djokovic’s tournament appeared on a knife edge when he suffered an abdominal injury during his third round match against Taylor Fritz less than a week ago. Yet he has put that aside and will have two days off to recover before Sunday’s final. “This is the best I felt during the entire tournament,” he told Jim Courier on court. “Felt great, I could swing through the ball, no pain, just best match so far, and it came at the right time and I’m thrilled to feel this way. Recovery is priority right now. I’m feeling the ball well, I’m playing well, I had enough match play, enough practice so right now it’s just gathering all the necessary energy for the most important match of the Australian Open.” Djokovic has never failed to win the tournament after making the semi-finals and he will be heavily favoured to claim a record-extending ninth title at his favourite Slam on Sunday.