The top men’s names continued to roll at the Australian Open. On pretty dull day of tennis in the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic ran his mark to 31-0 at the event as a top seed getting through Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
Djokovic had a bit of a blip in the third leading by a break and in control before Shapovalov reeled off four straight games to push a fourth. But the Serb got back in charge from there.
“Other than the little letdown that I had when I was 4-1, 4-2 up in the third set, other than that I thought I played well, especially in the fourth set,” Djokovic said. “I expected Denis to come out and be aggressive. He made a lot of unforced errors, I thought, for the first set and a half.
“I just stayed solid from back of the court and served well, played the right shots. For the first two sets, just had things under control. At 4-1, I was agitated. As I said, should not happen to me. I know better. I have experience. But it does happen, I guess. I allowed him to come back to the match.”
Djokovic will now meet Russian giant Daniil Medvedev. The Brisbane finalist quietly hasn’t dropped a set after taking care of David Goffin 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-3 to reach his first Slam fourth round.
After two 5-set wins, Kei Nishikori was more than happy going just three in a win over Joao Sousa 7-6(6), 6-1, 6-2.
Next for Nishikori is Pablo Carreno Busta who returned to the last 16 by taking out Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
“I’m sure it’s going to be something like today,” Nishikori said of the Spaniard. “There is going to be many rallies. He’s very solid from baseline. He can move well, good serve. I’m sure it’s going to be tough match.”
Former semifinalist Milos Raonic held off World No. 2 in doubles Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(6). The Canadian will face Alexander Zverev who eliminated Alex Bolt 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.
“I’m happy,” Raonic said. “To pull up two days after the tough match I had and play a pretty quite good actually level of tennis, efficient, I think that was all very positive for me.”
Boric Coric continued his best Australian Open by coming from a set down to deny Filip Krajinovic. He’ll meet Lucas Pouille who outlasted Alexei Popyrin 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(10), 4-6, 6-3.
On a very nice Sunday schedule, Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych meet for the first time in almost four years. Nadal leads the Czech 19-4 but Berdych won at the 2015 Australian in straight sets.
Roger Federer returns to take on the flashy Stefanos Tsitsipas. Federer beat the Greek at the Hopman Cup earlier this month, but this will be their first official tour meeting.
Former semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov will try to stop the run of American Frances Tiafoe who turns 21. And Martin Cilic battles Roberto Bautista Agut.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN SUNDAY SCHEDULE
Rod Laver Arena
From 11:00am AEDT
P. Kvitova(8) v A. Anisimova
Not before 12:30pm AEDT
A. Barty(15) v M. Sharapova(30)
Not before 2:30pm AEDT
T. Berdych v R. Nadal(2)
From 7:00pm AEDT
S. Tsitsipas(14) v R. Federer(3)
S. Stephens(5) v A. Pavlyuchenkova
Margaret Court Arena
From 11:00am AEDT
Not before 3:00pm AEDT
D. Collins v A. Kerber(2)
Not before 5:00pm AEDT
M. Cilic(6) v R. Bautista Agut(22)
From 11:00am AEDT
Not before 1:00pm AEDT
F. Tiafoe v G. Dimitrov(20)
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