Novak Djokovic overtakes Alex de Minaur in straight sets to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals:
Novak Djokovic was in imperious form again as he passed Alex de Minaur in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
The world No.5 produced stunning tennis throughout the match, winning 6-2 6-1 6-2 in just two hours and seven minutes as De Minaur had no response to the relentless and ruthless outburst of Djokovic.
It looked like this game could be a tough test for Djokovic after the first four games, but the 21-time Grand Slam champion pulled off an absurd 16-of-19 winning streak to run away with the game.
Djokovic will now face No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev for a place in the semi-finals.
“I can’t say I’m sorry you didn’t watch a longer game,” Djokovic told the crowd in his post-match interview. “I really wanted to win in straight sets. Of course, you never know what will happen on the field. You have to deal with a lot on and off the pitch.
“The first four or five games were close, a break of serve in the first set. I started to feel more loose and free to cross the ball and be more aggressive. I felt he was a little more nervous…this was my opportunity to capitalize.
“Things can change in a few moments, in a few points. I played the best game of the year so far… I felt good in the first game, not so good in the second, so I’m not taking anything for granted, but I was happy with the way I moved today and the way I hit the ball.
De Minaur hung on in the opening set of the first four games, but with Djokovic hitting his groundstrokes with relentless depth and power, the breakthrough seemed only a matter of time.
Djokovic increased the intensity further and moved away from his opponent quickly, winning the first set 6-2 after a run of four straight matches.
The Australian crowd did their best to lift De Minaur, giving the home favorite a huge reception as the players headed into the second set.
Things didn’t get any easier for De Minaur, however, as Djokovic held serve then immediately broke the Aussie to extend his winning streak to six games.
It was the first time these players faced each other and De Minaur – if he wasn’t already aware – was finding out how brutal playing against Djokovic is on Rod Laver.
Although the left hamstring was still strongly attached, there was absolutely no sign that Djokovic was physically hindered as the 35-year-old started to organize a tennis masterclass.
There have been very few players – if any – during Djokovic’s illustrious career who have been able to hang on to the Serb when he finds this kind of form.
Unforced errors were rare, his shots – which recently seem to pack more punch than ever – finding their points with unerring accuracy.
Djokovic took a 4-0 lead in the second set after a run of eight straight games and, with De Minaur straining every tendon just to try and keep pace with his opponent on each rally, the result of this match already seemed lost. conclusion.
De Minaur finally ended Djokovic’s nine-game streak, holding serve at 0-5 in the second set to avoid a bagel. It will have been small consolation for the 23-year-old, but he deserved huge credit for continuing to fight for every point and never letting his intensity down.
Unfortunately for De Minaur, there was no sign of Djokovic’s intensity waning either, as he quickly opened a 4-0 lead in the third set.
De Minaur continued to grind, however, and avoided a bagel in the third set with a hard serve catch to make it 4-1.
The Aussie crowd, acknowledging the effort their man continued to apply, roared in approval, with the sound more befitting a set win than just a match. But that only delayed the inevitable as Djokovic quickly closed the final set 6-2.
Perhaps getting Djokovic to play three more matches before handing him a 10th Australian Open title seems like a futile task, with the Serb the overwhelming favorite given the stunning form he has shown so far. present in Melbourne.
In his post-match interview after going through a five-set epic against Holger Rune, Rublev jokingly lamented that he had to beat Djokovic to reach a first Grand Slam semi-final.
The rest of the players remaining in the draw probably feel the same about the prospect of having to face Djokovic to win the Australian Open.