Novak Djokovic zips into quarterfinals at Australian Open

League: Tennis

Posted on: 21 Jan, 2024 at 06:42 AM

Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

Top-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic had little trouble getting past No. 20 seed Adrian Mannarino of France on Sunday (Australia time), picking up a 6-0, 6-0, 6-3 victory to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Djokovic was dominant, recording 17 aces for the match, with 10 coming in the first two sets. He also saved all three break points he faced and won 39 of 48 first-service points.

"The first two sets (were some) of the best sets I've played in a while," Djokovic said before resorting to humor. "I really wanted to lose that game in the third set, because the tension was building up so much in the stadium. I just needed to get that one out of the way so I can refocus on what I needed to do to close out the match."

Mannarino drew even at 1-1 in the third set before seeing Djokovic take the next three games. He would later pull within 4-2 and 5-3 but never ended up seriously challenging the No. 1 seed.

With the victory, Djokovic tied Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam quarterfinal berths (58). It took him just 1 hour, 44 minutes to advance to the next round, where he will face 12th seed Taylor Fritz of the United States.

Fritz pulled off an upset on Sunday, downing seventh-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

It looked like Tsitsipas was going to potentially force a fifth set when he took leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in the fourth set, but Fritz knotted things at 3 and never looked back, winning the final four games to advance.

Fritz finished with 50 winners against 19 unforced errors for the match. He will be making his first appearance in the Australian Open quarterfinals.

"I think I served well, the whole match, it kept me in it," Fritz said. "And then at the very end when I really needed it, I feel like I just, I turned it up a level and started playing my absolute best tennis to finish it."

Also Sunday, fourth-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy had 46 winners and saved nine of 10 break points en route to a 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over No. 15 Karen Khachanov of Russia.

"It was for sure a different match today," Sinner said. "I felt like we both were hitting the ball really well from the back of the court. Every match is obviously different. It's a pleasure to be here (in the quarterfinals). Obviously happy with the outcome of the match."

Sinner will play fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev after the Russian improved to 8-0 on the season following a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-0 win over 10th-seeded Alex de Minaur.

--Field Level Media