Novak Djokovic was firing on all cylinders as he dismantled home favourite Alex De Minaur to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the 13th time.
The nine-time champion’s damaged left hamstring has dominated discussion around his chances of triumphing again at Melbourne Park but there were no signs of discomfort here as he stormed to a 6-2 6-1 6-2 victory with a ruthless display.
De Minaur vs Djokovic: Tale of the Tape
|De Minaur||Match Stats||Djokovic|
|52%||1st serve win percentage||75%|
|44%||2nd serve win percentage||67%|
|0/0||Break points won||6/12|
|5/9||Net points won||14/21|
|59||Total points won||91|
It was a very uncomfortable evening, though, for De Minaur, the last remaining home singles hope, on Rod Laver Arena as he was outplayed in all areas.
Andrey Rublev rallied back from the brink to dump rising star Holger Rune out and book a second quarter-final at Melbourne Park with a see-saw 6-3 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (11-9) win.
In a final-set tiebreak of unrelenting tension, Rune saved two match points but was powerless to save the third as Rublev battleed back from 5-0 in the 10-point tie-break, sealing the win with a return of serve that clipped the net and popped over, leaving the Dane no chance.
“[Tennis is] not a rollercoaster, it’s like they put a gun to your head,” Rublev said on court. “I think a rollercoaster is a lot easier, man.”
“I never in my life was able to win matches like this, this was the first time in my life I was able to win a match like this.
American 20-year-old Ben Shelton beat compatriot JJ Wolf 6-7 (7-5) 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in a fourth-round match that lasted nearly four hours.
“I thought I did a really good job of competing at the highest level in the fifth set. Always tough playing a friend. I’ve known JJ a while,” said Shelton, who did not have his serve broken.
“I was able to pace myself emotionally. Six months ago I wouldn’t have been able to finish this match.”
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