Novak Djokovic drops just three games and equals Roger Federer record as he reaches Australian Open quarterfinals




CNN
 — 

Novak Djokovic produced a stunning performance to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals with a 6-0 6-0 6-3 victory over France’s Adrian Mannarino on Sunday.

It is the 58th time the Serb has reached the last eight of a grand slam, equaling Roger Federer’s all-time record.

Djokovic, who is chasing a record-extending 25th grand slam title, had faced tough tests in the opening two rounds of this tournament, dropping a set in each, but has ominously found his rhythm as the second week approaches.

“The first two sets [were some] of the best sets I’ve played in a while,” the Serb said afterwards, per the ATP Tour.

As Djokovic raced through the first two sets without dropping a game, he seemed on course for a rare triple bagel – which would have been the first of its kind at the Australian Open and first at any grand slam since 1993 – but Mannarino, who could only laugh at the end of the second set, finally won a game in the third.

“I really wanted to lose that game in the third set, because the tension was building up so much in the stadium,” Djokovic said. “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.”

He will now face Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals after the American shocked last year’s finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(3) 5-7 6-3 6-3 in their fourth round match.

Fritz, the tournament’s No. 12 seed, had never defeated a top 10 player at a grand slam before but he limited himself to just 19 unforced errors and hit 13 aces to reach his maiden Australian Open quarterfinal.

Taylor Fritz of the U.S. reacts during his fourth round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece at the Australian Open tennis championships at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024.

“The last three games of the match I really, really turned it on, almost like [I] was in a trance and everything,” Fritz said afterwards, according to the tournament’s website.

“Just felt good. I felt like I knew exactly what shot to hit, the right decision to make on every ball. It’s great. It’s been a while since I’ve had that feeling, so it gives me a lot of confidence.”

Meanwhile, his compatriot Coco Gauff also reached her first ever Australian Open quarterfinal with an impressive 6-1 6-2 victory over Poland’s Magdalena Frech to win her 11th consecutive grand slam match, a run that includes her US Open title.

She was completely dominant throughout the match, hitting 21 winners compared to Frech’s seven and never facing a break point.

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 21, 2024
Coco Gauff of the U.S. in action during her fourth round match against Poland's Magdalena Frech

Gauff’s increasingly assured performances make it easy to forget that she is still a teenager, as the 19-year-old says she does too.

“I just feel like I’ve lived so many lives the last four years, that I just feel older than 19,” she told reporters afterwards. “Yeah, I definitely do forget my age a lot.”

She become the youngest woman to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals since Agnieszka Radwanska in 2008, where she will face Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk.



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