Djokovic reaches the Australian Open quarterfinals
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Novak Djokovic was ruthless in a 6-0, 6-0, 6-3 win over Adrian Mannarino on Sunday, reaching the Australian Open quarterfinals and matching Roger Federer’s all-time Grand Slam record.
In a rare daytime appearance on Rod Laver Arena, the 10-time Australian Open champion hit 31 winners and raced to victory in 1 hour and 44 minutes to progress to the last eight for the 58th time at a major, equaling Federer’s record.
Djokovic is into the Australian Open quarterfinals for the 14th time, which is equal second on the all-time list with Rafael Nadal and John Newcombe. The difference is that he’s converted most of those quarterfinal runs into titles at Melbourne Park.
“The first two sets were some of the best sets I’ve played in a while,” said Djokovic, who is bidding for a record-extending 25th Grand Slam singles title. “I played great from the first to the last point.”
He added, in jest: “I really wanted to lose that game in the third set because the tension was building in the stadium.
The 35-year-old Mannarino had gone to five sets in all three of his previous rounds. After missing a break point in the opening game, he almost never threatened Djokovic.
The Frenchman avoided a so-called triple-bagel – only five Grand Slam matches in the Open era have been won 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 – but he was only postponing the inevitable.
Djokovic has admitted to feeling unwell in recent rounds but said his health is improveing.
“Last couple of days has been really good,” he said. “It’s going in a positive direction, health-wise, tennis-wise.”