Djokovic on course for another Australian Open title.


By Neo Poho

Former world no.1 Novak Djokovic has laid down a marker to his title rivals with a huge victory over Alex de Minaur on Monday night.

The 35 year old Djokovic who is challenging for a 10th Australian Open title defeated the Aussie star de Minaur 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the Quarterfinals with Andrey Rublev his next opponent.

Djokovic drew first blood after a breathless start to the match when de Minaur crashed a forehand into the net to allow the fourth seed to go up 4-2 and the Serbian consolidated the break and struck again to claim the first set.

Focused and firing from all cylinders, The Serb was clearly a man on a mission when he was up two sets to love before going for the kill by taking the the first four games of the third and finishing in style.

After the match, Djokovic gave his opponent a takedown when he mentioned that there is no love lost between the pair, "I don't have any relationship with him(de Minaur). I don't have any communication with him, he showed me in 2022 what he thinks about me," Djokovic said.

Last year de Minaur was one of the most vocal tennis player in the world to address Djokovic's anti-vaccination stance and the deportation circus that clouded the tournament. 

"I respect him as a rival, a colleague, as I respect everyone else. I have no problem with him, contacting him, congratulating him and etc however I just don't have a relationship with him," added the Serb.

Meanwhile Stefanos Tsitsipas also progressed through to the Quarterfinals of the Australian Open after beating Jannik Sinner 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 at the Rod Laver Arena.

It was a crucial victory for Tsitsipas who has been struggling against players younger than him.

In 2022 the Greek born Tsitsipas lost four matches to two tennis' rising stars Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune and was defeated in five sets by the Alcaraz at the 2021 US Open.

Tsitsipas has played just one Grand Slam final, at the 2021 French Open which he lost to Rafael Nadal, and has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open three times.

He will next face Jiri Lehecka in the quarterfinals on Tuesday in a bid to go all the the way to the final 4.


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Tennis

Australian Open

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