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DJOKOVIC ENDS AUSTRALIAN HOPES IN MELBOURNE



Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic has ended the hopes of the home nation with his 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 win over Alex de Minaur to progress to an astounding 13th quarterfinal at Melbourne Park.


The World No.5 showed no signs of hamstring tightness as he flexed his muscle early, breaking his counterpart to love in the sixth game of the opening set.


Continuously overwhelming de Minaur, the Serbian secured a second break to take the first stanza and control of the contest.


Djokovic admits that he is pleased with the mobility of his leg and says that his treatment has been rigorous.


“We take it day by day. We do a lot of things actually. It's been honestly exhausting to be involved in a lot of different treatments and machines and stuff that we do,” he said.


“At the same time it was necessary. It is necessary in order to get myself in a condition to play. So I'm really glad that my body has responded really well.


“Tonight I didn't feel any pain. I moved as well as I have the whole tournament. It means we are progressing in the right direction.


“I do not want to celebrate too early because I don't know how the body's going to respond tomorrow and for the next match, but what I felt tonight was fantastic.”


The 21-time Grand Slam conqueror kept his foot to the floor to commence the second as he again got the better of the Australian’s serve before replicating the feat yet again as he raced to a 5-0 lead.


Djokovic was absolutely rampant, having clattered 16 winners to de Minaur’s five after the first two sets in what was becoming one of the former No.1’s most stylish performances on a court where he has dazzled for years.


The 35-year-old maintained his breakneck speed, torturing the de Minaur serve once again to break in the inaugural game of the final stanza to take the sting out of the contest once and for all.


Weight and depth were plaguing the Australian as he struggled to find inroads into rallies with Djokovic’s movement exemplary, seemingly quashing any concern over his injury.


Like the set previous, the fourth seed would secure yet another double break to ensure the crowd remained silent on what was a disappointing night for the home fans.


The Serbian admits that if he was told a week ago that this would be the performance to book passage to the elite eight, he would have jumped at it with open arms.


“I'll take it, definitely. I mean, at that point it wasn't looking at all like this result was going to happen,” Djokovic admits.


“Having a little bit of experience throughout my career with these kind of particular circumstances, I know that my body responds pretty well.


“At the same time there were situations where it was responding great a certain day, and then the next day not so well.


“Yeah, we'll take it day by day. I'll keep doing what I have done so far, which is what helped me to get to this condition. Hopefully it can still keep improving.”


In one of the more destructive matches in his Australian Open career, Djokovic’s concession of five games marks just the seventh time he has restricted his opponent to the tally or less at Melbourne Park.


de Minaur was dejected following the loss, but ultimately looks at the fact that the opposition was in seriously fine touch, so much so that if he maintains this form he will take a tenth crown.


“I’m a little bit disappointed. I didn't give much for the crowd to cheer on. I think I came up against a very good opponent with a very high level today,” he said.


“I think what I experienced today was probably Novak very close to his best, I would say.


“To me, if that's the level, I think he's definitely the guy that's going to take the title.”


The Australian was also asked about the speculation surrounding Djokovic’s hamstring and whether the Serbian’s salient movement frustrated him.


“I don't know. You tell me how you thought he looked out there. Playing him, I thought he was moving pretty well, so I don't know,” de Minaur said.


“I think everyone's kind of seeing what's been happening over the couple weeks. It's the only thing everyone's been talking about.


“Today I was out there on court against him. Either I'm not a good enough tennis player to expose that, it looked good to me.


“He was just too good in all aspects.”


As far as finding positives across the summer goes, the 24-year-old will move on from this result quickly and reflect on his win against Rafael Nadal and an equal personal best run at the Australian Open.


“I had a great match against Mannarino. That was a positive.


“I made the second week of a slam again which is another positive and over the Aussie summer I got a win over Rafa, which is pretty positive.


“Now it's just about forgetting what happened out there today and moving on because ultimately in this life you're going to have a couple of these performances where things just don't go your way.


“There's plenty of them. If you take it too hard and then it's going to linger for a while, you’ve got to get ready for the next week.”


Djokovic will meet Russia’s Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinal following his dramatic five-set victory over young Dane Holger Rune.


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