Dominant Djokovic rolls on at Australian Open

Published: February 08, 2023


Novak Djokovic’s bid for a tenth Australian Open crown shifted up a gear on Monday as he raced into the quarter-finals with a centre court docket masterclass and left his hamstring troubles behind.

A 12 months after being deported from the nation on the eve of the Grand Slam, Djokovic despatched the final Australian packing with a 6-2 6-1 6-2 demolition of Alex de Minaur at a floodlit Rod Laver Arena.

The Serbian nice arrange a quarter-final in opposition to Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev and was thrilled to report the hamstring pressure on his left leg was not bothering him.

“I cannot say I’m sorry that you haven’t watched a longer match,” Djokovic joked to the gang.

“I actually needed to win in straight units.

“Tonight it wasn’t obvious that I was dealing with an injury, I didn’t feel anything today, so today was great.”

With younger gun Ben Shelton profitable a five-set battle in opposition to compatriot J.J. Wolf, and Sebastian Korda advancing on Sunday, Tommy Paul ensured three American males will contest the quarter-finals for the primary time since 2000.

The unseeded Paul beat twenty fourth seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-5 within the night at Margaret Court Arena to guide a matchup with 20-year-old Shelton, whose dream run continued with a 6-7(5) 6-2 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 6-2 win over Wolf.

“Any time you play Bautista it’s going to be a war,” stated a beaming Paul after reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

“I’m really happy playing an American in the quarters, there’s going to be an American in the semis.”

While Djokovic hurtled by means of, it was the exception on a day of grinding contests for the boys, none extra so than Rublev’s tense five-set win over Danish wunderkind Holger Rune.

After getting back from 5-2 down within the fifth set at Rod Laver Arena, the Russian redhead claimed the cliffhanger 6-3 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (11-9) courtesy of a fortunate internet wire on match level.

“(Tennis is) not a rollercoaster, it’s like they put a gun to your head,” Rublev joked after his remaining return of serve clipped the online and popped over, leaving Rune no probability.

“I think a rollercoaster is a lot easier, man.”

It was smoother crusing on the ladies’s facet as Aryna Sabalenka eased into the quarter-finals for the primary time however fourth seed Caroline Garcia was bundled out and 17-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova’s dream run ended.

World quantity 45 Magda Linette ensured Poland can be represented within the final eight by beautiful Garcia 7-6(3) 6-4, whereas Croatian Donna Vekic, ranked sixty fourth on this planet, held her nerve to down Fruhvirtova 6-2 1-6 6-3.

Vekic will subsequent play Sabalenka and Linette will tackle Czech former world primary Karolina Pliskova, who breezed previous China’s Zhang Shuai 6-0 6-4 on Kia Arena.

With prime seed Iga Swiatek eradicated on Sunday, Garcia’s exit leaves Sabalenka and American Jessica Pegula as the one prime 10 seeds within the quarter-finals.

Sabalenka appears to be like to have pretty much as good an opportunity as anybody of profitable the Daphne Akhurst Trophy if she will conquer the demons that typically take maintain when her energy sport misfires.

On Monday, the 24-year-old Belarusian acquired her head straight after taking place an early break to blast Swiss Belinda Bencic off the court docket 7-5 6-2.

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