Australian Open: Novak Djokovic coasts into quarter-finals with demolition of Alex de Minaur

Sailing through: Novak Djokovic eased past Alex de Minaur to reach Melbourne quarters  (AFP via Getty Images)
Sailing through: Novak Djokovic eased past Alex de Minaur to reach Melbourne quarters (AFP via Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic dispelled fears over his hamstring injury as he coasted into a 13th career Australian Open quarter-final.

The nine-time champion needed just over two hours to win a first career meeting against Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-1, 6-2.

It proved a proper statement win to those remaining in the men’s draw both over his fitness and form as he made the world no24 look like a mere also-ran in undeniably his most complete performance at this year’s tournament.

It was a 27th victory from Djokovic’s last 28 matches, having lost just the Paris Masters final since his return to action in September after missing the US Open because of his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Australian De Minaur gave his home crowd something to cheer with the opening four games going with serve. But then the 23-year-old was broken to mark nine straight games won by his Serbian opponent.

De Minaur curtailed the rot by winning his last service game of the second set but it was only the briefest of respites as Djokovic went on another run. The Australian managed two service holds late in the third set but cut an increasingly disconsolate figure on the change of ends.

Australian Open 2023 - In pictures

(REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
(AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
Daniel Evans (AP)
Daniel Evans (AP)
Elise Mertens (REUTERS)
Elise Mertens (REUTERS)
USA’s Jenson Brooksby celebrates victory against Norway’s Casper Ruud (AFP via Getty Images)
USA’s Jenson Brooksby celebrates victory against Norway’s Casper Ruud (AFP via Getty Images)
Emma Raducanu (Getty Images)
Emma Raducanu (Getty Images)
Coco Gauff (Getty Images)
Coco Gauff (Getty Images)
Emma Raducanu (Getty Images)
Emma Raducanu (Getty Images)
Coco Gauff (AFP via Getty Images)
Coco Gauff (AFP via Getty Images)
Emma Raducanu (REUTERS)
Emma Raducanu (REUTERS)

Djokovic now meets Andrey Rublev for a place in the last four after the Russian’s 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 win over Holge Rune including a deciding super tiebreak.

There will be an all-American quarter-final between Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton on Wednesday after wins over Roberto Bautista Agut and JJ Wolf respectively.

In the women’s fourth-round matches, there were victories for the quartet of Karolina Pliskova, Magda Linette, Donna Vekic and Aryna Sabalenka.

Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios has had surgery on the knee injury which forced his withdrawal from his home Grand Slam.

The 27-year-old was suffering from a tear and cyst on his meniscus but is hoping to be back to compete at Indian Wells in March.

Posting a picture of himself on Instagram, Wimbledon runner-up Kyrgios said: “Surgery complete. I’ll be doing everything I can do to get back to my best. To the real ones checking in and sending vibes…I love you.”