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In stark contrast to the tightly contested first week of the tournament, top seeds Coco Gauff, Aryna Sabalenka, and Novak Djokovic flew through their respective matches on Sunday afternoon with neither player facing any significant resistance in their round of 16 clashes.


On the women’s side, American fourth seed Coco Gauff opened proceedings against Magdalena Frech at Rod Laver Arena on what was a gloomy middle Sunday at Melbourne Park. 


Having been on the court for four hours less than her opponent, 19-year-old Gauff, the reigning US Open champion, hit the ground running and never looked back defeating Frech 6-1, 6-2 in a mere 63 minutes to reach her maiden quarter-final at Melbourne Park. 


Frech, who would’ve been long odds to be the last surviving Polish woman in the draw,  was chasing her first top-10 win in ten attempts, however, in truth, the gap in class was evident from start to finish as Gauff dominated the contest with her heavy top spinning forehand, her ability to change direction on the backhand and otherwise physically outlasting Frech. 


Gauff, who has now won eight matches in a row in 2024 following her title run in Auckland (def. Svitolina), will face unseeded Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in the quarter-finals on Tuesday who defeated qualifier Maria Timofeeva 6-2, 6-1 on KIA Arena. 


Shortly after Gauff walked off the court, second seed Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka and American Amanda Anisimova entered Margaret Court Arena with the winner projected to meet Gauff in a mouth-watering semi-final.


Anisimova had won the first four meetings between the pair until Sabalenka got one back in Rome in 2022.  Entering the tournament with a protected ranking of 61, Anisimova downed 13th seed Liudmilla Samsonova and Paula Badosa en route to the round of 16 match however that’s where her run would end.


Anisimova’s biggest issue? Simply running into the wrong player at the wrong time. 


Aryna Sabalenka has been an unstoppable force thus far at the 2024 Australian Open crushing her first three opponents with ease.  After losing only six games in her first three rounds, Sabalenka only allowed Anisimova to add five more winning 6-3, 6-2 in 70 minutes.


In press, like on the court, Sabalenka was all business in her description of the performance.


I'm super happy with the level I played today”, she said, unsurprisingly.


“Super happy to get through this round. She's a really tough opponent. We always had really tough matches against each other, so I'm super happy to win this match in straight sets.”


Sabalenka will face the winner of teen sensation Mirra Andreeva and Czech 9th seed and former French Open champion Barbora Krejčíková.


Elsewhere, and back on Rod Laver Arena, a completely dominant 10-time champion Novak Djokovic destroyed 20th-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. 


Despite playing objectively reasonable tennis and having two break point opportunities on the Djokovic serve in the first game of the match, it took Mannarino, who had already played three five-set matches to make it to the fourth round, until the third set before registering his first game.


With only four unforced errors in the first set, Djokovic was untouchable in what was an embodiment of the old mantra: “Whatever you can do, I can do better”. 


After taking the first two sets 6-0, 6-0, Mannarino joined American Robby Ginepri (2005 Roland Garros) and Argentinean Carlos Berlocq (2011 US Open) to receive a double bagel from Djokovic to start a grand slam match.


With the match over before it began, Djokovic is now into his fourteenth quarter-final in his last 16 visits to the Australian Open and will play the winner of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Taylor Fritz.   


The Serbian has also tied Roger Federer's record of 58 grand slam quarter-final appearances which is the equivalent of reaching the final 8 at every grand slam from this Australian Open until the 2038 French Open. 


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