Novak Djokovic kept the pedal down Sunday at the Australian Open where he blitzed past Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. It wasn’t the Serb’s best match, but against the Top 15 seed, he was never in trouble nor under any duress.
“It feels great. I had a fantastic couple of matches in a row, center court, last two rounds,” Djokovic said following his 11th straight win at the event. “I felt more confident going through the ball, hitting serves really well.
“Today was a good test because Diego was in form, he hasn’t dropped a set in three rounds. Obviously he can be a very dangerous opponent from the baseline if you give him time. I knew that.
“I stepped out on the court with a clear game plan what I need to do. I think I kept things pretty much in control in all three sets.”
Djokovic will now have a big step-up in size from his recent opponents ahead as former semifinalist Milos Raonic awaits. The Canadian has got his serving popping having held 59 straight games to start the event. Today, behind 35 aces he eased past 2018 runner-up Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3, 7-5.
“That was a rollercoaster. He was playing better through most of first set and I was lucky to get that through,” Raonic said.
Raonic hasn’t dropped a set and has only played one tiebreaker so far. And he’s finally healthy.
“I haven’t gotten to do this over the last few years so it means a lot to me. It feels pretty damn good I’ve got to say.”
Djokovic has won all nine meetings with Raonic, routing him in the process taking 21 of 23 sets.
“Milos is one of the tallest, one of strongest on tour. He has one of the biggest serves,” Djokovic said.
“I’ve got to be ready for missiles coming from his side of the net. I remember it really well playing him four to five years ago in the quarterfinals. One of keys will be how well I’m returning and how confident I am in my service games.”
Tennys Sandgren proved his 2018 quarterfinal was no fluke because he’s done it again! The last American man beat Matteo Berrettini and Sunday he took down Italian No. 2 Fabio Fognini in four testy sets 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-4.
”Playing him is just a war,” Sandgren told the crowd. “He’s so good and you can never count him out at any stage. I was expecting a fight and we had a fight.”
Sandgren now gets 6-time champion Roger Federer who came from a set down to deny Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
“I’ve played a lot of tennis in my life but never against Tennys,” Federer joked looking ahead.
Federer has yet to play a seed or anyone in the Top 40. His quarterfinal opponent, Sandgren, is ranked No. 100.
On a big Monday, the eyes of Australia will be on one match, one court as their guy Nick Kyrgios clashes with world No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Nadal leads Kyrgios 4-3 and figures to have big edge after the Aussie went the distance Saturday night.
“At the end of the day, we’re two different tennis players. We go about it completely different,” Kyrgios said of the match-up.
“Regardless, if we don’t like each other or whatever, I think there’s a layer of respect. He’s one of the greatest of all time. I also read that he thinks I’m good for the sport.
“We’re going to go out there and give contrasting styles and personalities.
Also, Stan Wawrinka meets Daniil Medvedev, the improving Alexander Zverev battles the streaking Andrey Rublev and Dominic Thiem takes on Gael Monfils.
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