Novak Djokovic said he is growing in confidence after the Australian Open champion dominated en route to the quarter-finals on Sunday.

Djokovic is bidding to win a record-extending eighth Norman Brooks Challenge Cup in Melbourne and the 16-time grand slam champion remains on track to add to his collection following a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over 14th seed Diego Schwartzman.

It was Djokovic's third consecutive straight-sets win at Melbourne Park, where the Serbian second seed reached his 11th Australian Open quarter-final.

After hitting 38 winners in just over two hours on Rod Laver Arena, Djokovic told reporters:  "It feels great. I had a fantastic couple of matches in a row, centre court, last two rounds. 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. Maybe could have finished the match a bit earlier. But it was a very solid performance."

Next up for Djokovic is 32nd seed and former world number three Milos Raonic, who beat Marin Cilic in three sets on Sunday.

Djokovic has dominated Raonic, boasting a flawless 9-0 head-to-head record, which includes a quarter-final victory at the 2015 Australian Open.

Asked to compare Raonic with fellow big servers John Isner and Karlovic, Djokovic replied: "I feel like Raonic moves better than Isner and Karlovic. I mean, he's not as tall as these two guys. They're 6'10" or something, two metres 10. They're the tallest players to ever play tennis.

"Obviously it's a huge advantage when you hit serves from that height. You can hit any angle, anything you really want. That puts a lot of pressure on your opponent. But that also has some disadvantages in terms of movement. If the returner gets the ball back in play, then I think Raonic is better than these two guys. 

"But I feel like maybe you could read his serve better than Isner and Karlovic. I don't want to say it's slightly slower, but just a little bit of a different toss, different technique. You can probably get some looks at second serves or breakpoints and stuff like this maybe a bit more than the other two guys. It's such a minor difference that you don't really notice it so much. But on the court it makes a big difference."

Australian Open champion and second seed Novak Djokovic reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne for the 11th time after seeing off Diego Schwartzman in straight sets.

Djokovic - eyeing a record-extending eighth Australian Open title - powered through to his 46th grand slam quarter-final courtesy of Sunday's 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory.

The 16-time slam champion produced another dominant performance in just over two hours on Rod Laver Arena, setting up a meeting with 32nd seed Milos Raonic - a rematch of the 2015 last-eight meeting at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic - boasting a 3-0 head-to-head record against Schwartzman - barely raised a sweat in the second and third rounds, cruising past Japanese opponents Tatsuma Ito and Yoshihito Nishioka.

It was a sterner test against 14th seed Schwartzman, who made Djokovic earn his points in a contest showcasing powerful baseline rallies.

The set was on serve until Schwartzman double-faulted in the eighth game to open the door for Djokovic and the Serb star fired an inch-perfect winner down the line to bring up the first break point. He converted to snap Schwartzman's stubborn resistance for a 5-3 lead.

Djokovic muttered to himself in frustration and then double-faulted in a tense ninth game but he left the scrambling Schwartzman on the floor as he closed it out after 38 minutes.

Cracks started to appear in Schwartzman's performance as Djokovic broke to start the second set and again in the third game - the Argentinian fading until he claimed one of the breaks back in the fourth.

It was the first time Djokovic had been broken since his opening-round win over Jan-Lennard Struff, having saved one break point against Nishioka after not facing one on court with Ito.

Schwartzman battled but Djokovic was not to be denied a two-sets-to-love lead, a position he had never lost from at the Australian Open with a 55-0 record prior to Sunday, and the latter preserved that perfect record after breaking in the fifth game of the final set and never looking back.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Novak Djokovic [2] bt Diego Schwartzman [14] 6-3 6-4 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Djokovic – 38/31
Schwartzman – 17/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Djokovic – 8/1
Schwartzman – 1/4

BREAK POINTS WON 
Djokovic – 4/8
Schwartzman – 1/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Djokovic – 64
Schwartzman – 56

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Djokovic – 75/68
Schwartzman – 62/49

TOTAL POINTS 
Djokovic – 101
Schwartzman – 74

It is safe to say 19-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal and outspoken Australian Nick Kyrgios are not friends.

Their feud stems back to February last year and shows no signs of subsiding ahead of Monday's last-16 showdown at the Australian Open.

As the pair renew hostilities in Melbourne, we look at the timeline of events that has led to tennis' biggest feud.

 

February 2019 - Sparks fly in Acapulco​

Kyrgios' first meeting with Nadal was at the All England Club in 2014 - the then-19-year-old Kyrgios stunning the two-time Wimbledon champion to reach the quarter-finals.

However, their Mexican Open date five years later changed things completely. Kyrgios took down Nadal in the second round en route to winning the ATP Tour tournament. Kyrgios was at his brilliant and menacing best, rallying from a set down, saving three match points and attempting underarm serves. He also complained that Nadal was taking too long to serve.

Afterwards, Nadal told reporters: "He's a player who has enormous talent, could be winning grand slams or fighting for the number one ranking. He lacks respect for the crowd, his opponent and towards himself… I don't think he's a bad guy, but he lacks a little respect for the public and the rival."

Kyrgios responded by saying: "He doesn't know anything about me. So, I'm not going to listen at all. That's the way I play. The way he plays is very slow in between points. The rule in the book says he has to pay to the speed of the server, but Rafa has his speed every time, so I'm not going to comment on him. He's got his own game. I've got my game. We played well. That's the sport. People are different so I'm not going to take that into consideration at all."

March 2019 - Uncle Toni takes aim at Kyrgios

At Indian Wells, Nadal tried to quell what he said, but his uncle Toni reignited the fire as he got involved.

In an interview with Radio Marca, Toni Nadal said: "Rafa is totally right. He [Kyrgios] lacks education and smartness. He should be fighting for the top rankings and instead, he is number 40. He does not look like a bad guy but he has been disrespectful too many times to get back on track."

May 2019 - Kyrgios returns serve as war of words continue

Never one to sit back and hold fire, Kyrgios responded in his appearance on podcast 'No Challenges Remaining' as the maligned Australian ruffled feathers ahead of the French Open.

Describing Nadal as "salty", the unfiltered Kyrgios told tennis writer Ben Rothenberg: "When he wins, it's fine. He won't say anything bad, he'll credit the opponent, 'He was a great player'. But as soon as I beat him, it's just like, 'He has no respect for me, my fans and no respect to the game'.

"It's not a good look for you, I feel. And then uncle Toni came out saying, 'He lacks education'. I'm like, 'Bra [brother], I did 12 years at school, you idiot. I'm very educated. I understand that you're upset I beat your family again'."

July 2019 - Kyrgios and Nadal reunite at Wimbledon

Fans and pundits were licking their lips when Kyrgios and Nadal went head-to-head in the second round of Wimbledon. Nadal emerged triumphant in four sets after an eventful and tense battle. Kyrgios served underarm, received a code violation for unsportsmanlike behaviour and hit the unimpressed Nadal with a powerful forehand.

Asked if he regretted not apologising for hitting Nadal, Kyrgios responded: "Why would I apologise?… I didn't hit him. Hit his racquet, no? Why would I apologise? I won the point."

"I don't care. Why would I apologise? I mean, the dude has got how many slams, how much money in the bank account? I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro. I'm not going to apologise to him at all," Kyrgios added.

"I was going for him. Yeah, I wanted to hit him square in the chest. Like, he's got decent hands."

January 2020 - Kyrgios impersonates Nadal as tension builds

Fast forward to the Australian Open and Kyrgios has already added more spice to a tasty fourth-round matchup. Kyrgios impersonated Nadal as he was called for a time violation during his win against Gilles Simon in the second round at Melbourne Park.

When asked if he liked Kyrgios following Saturday's routine victory over Pablo Carreno Busta, Nadal's response was telling. "I don't know. I don't know him personally, honestly, to have a clear opinion," Nadal told reporters. "It's clear, of course, that when he does stuff that in my opinion is not good, I don't like. 

"When he plays good tennis and he shows passion for this game, he is a positive player for our tour, and I want my tour bigger, not smaller. So the players who make the tour bigger are important for the tour. When he's ready to play his best tennis and play with passion, is one of these guys. When he's doing the other stuff, of course I don't like."

After earning a date with Nadal courtesy of a marathon five-setter, Kyrgios said in a news conference: "At the end of the day, we're two different tennis players. We go about it completely different… 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. There's a layer of respect that we both have for each other. Doesn't necessarily mean we like each other, but we're going to go out there and give contrasting styles and personalities.

"I don't really know Rafa. I've never hung out with him or anything like that. So I don't really know how he is. I don't really dislike him. I don't know him at all. Hell of a tennis player. Don't know him as a person. I'm sure he's okay."

Tennis' biggest feud takes centre stage when world number one Rafael Nadal clashes with Nick Kyrgios in the last 16 at the Australian Open on Monday.

Nadal and Australian star Kyrgios have been outspoken in their opinion of each other amid a fractured relationship, stemming from last year's Mexican Open.

Rod Laver Arena will play host to the blockbuster showdown, with Nadal looking to maintain his charge towards a record-equalling 20th grand slam title.

We take a closer look at Nadal as the 33-year-old prepares for the fourth round at Melbourne Park.

 

Form and results

Nadal has barely raised a sweat in the opening week of the tournament, but he took his game to a new level against Davis Cup team-mate Pablo Carreno Busta on Saturday. Nadal's relentless power and precision left his countryman helpless on Rod Laver Arena, where the top seed hit 42 winners and just seven unforced errors. It was also the 47th time Nadal advanced to the fourth round at a major.

R1: bt Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0
R2: bt Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1
R3: bt Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4

Next up

It is the showdown everyone wanted – Nadal v 23rd seed Kyrgios amid their frosty relationship and feud. Maligned Australian Kyrgios earned his ticket to the last 16 the hard way via a marathon five-set contest against Karen Khachanov. Kyrgios coughed up a two-sets-to-love lead before finally overcoming 16th seed Khachanov after four hours, 26 minutes on Saturday.

Draw

A rematch of last year's US Open final could be on the horizon. If Nadal gets past Kyrgios and then either fifth seed Dominic Thiem or 10th seed Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals, Flushing Meadows runner-up Daniil Medvedev might stand in the way of the Spaniard and back-to-back Australian Open finals. Nadal overcame Medvedev in a memorable five-setter in New York.

What he said

"Every day is a different story. But, of course, it's important to make steps forward. It's clear that I made an important one [on Saturday]."

Nick Kyrgios believes a layer of respect exists between himself and Rafael Nadal but would not go as far as saying he likes the world number one ahead of their Australian Open meeting.

After both players won their third-round matches on Saturday, they will do battle in the pick of the fourth-round ties on Monday.

Nadal cruised to a 6-1 6-2 6-4 win over fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, while Kyrgios overcame Karen Khachanov 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) in an incredibly close contest lasting four hours and 26 minutes.

Kyrgios has won three of his seven meetings against Nadal in a rivalry that stepped up a gear at last year's Mexican Open when words were exchanged after a match the Australian won.

After his straightforward win in Melbourne, Nadal said he was unsure whether he likes the 24-year-old, though conceded his involvement in the sport can benefit the ATP Tour.

When it was Kyrgios' turn to face reporters, he referenced the duo's battle at Wimbledon last year, which Nadal won in four close sets.

"Last time I played him was at Wimbledon," said Kyrgios. "We had a pretty good match, 7-6 in the fourth set. 

"At the end of the day, we're two different tennis players. We go about it completely different. After Wimbledon, I lost, I got beaten by the better player. 

"I shook his hand, looked him in the eye, and said, 'Too good'. 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. There's a layer of respect that we both have for each other. Doesn't necessarily mean we like each other, but we're going to go out there and give contrasting styles and personalities.

"I don't really know Rafa. I've never hung out with him or anything like that. So I don't really know how he is. I don't really dislike him. I don't know him at all. Hell of a tennis player. Don't know him as a person. I'm sure he's okay."

Kyrgios believes Nadal will have a physical advantage after having an easier route through to the last 16 but is not overly concerned, also saying his hamstring is better after he felt it against Khachanov.

He added: "Physically I think I'll be fine. I have a whole day off [Sunday]. Get some rest after this, do all the right things. I'm super excited honestly. Playing one of the greatest tennis players on center court at your own slam, it's pretty damn cool.

"I've got a lot of time between now and then. Obviously it's going to be another physical battle.

"Nothing comes easy with him. He had a relatively routine match, so he's going to be feeling good. I'm looking forward to it. That's why you play, I guess."

Kyrgios has a 2-1 record against Nadal on hard courts, and continued: "Ever since juniors I enjoyed playing lefties. 

"I feel like I kind of know what game plan I need to bring to be successful against them. 

"Rafa is a different beast altogether. I kind of know his patterns. Everyone knows his patterns, can't do anything about it. Federer knows his patterns. Everyone knows his patterns. He executes them at the highest level. 

"I feel good. Like I feel like my game is ready to go. But it was crazy [against Khachanov]. I don't think the emotions have died down at all."

Nick Kyrgios emerged triumphant in a dramatic five-set clash with Karen Khachanov despite struggling with a hamstring injury, booking a highly anticipated meeting with Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

After passing up match points in the third and fourth sets, home favourite Kyrgios came out on top in the longest match of his career by beating Khachanov 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) at a raucous Melbourne Arena in four hours, 26 minutes.

Top seed Nadal beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4 in one hour, 38 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, while US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev overcame Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-3 6-2 and will face Stan Wawrinka in the last 16.

The Swiss advanced after John Isner retired while 6-4 4-1 down, with Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Gael Monfils joining him in round round four.

 

CROCKED KYRGIOS CLINGS ON

Kyrgios started confidently against Khachanov and, despite taking a medical time-out at 5-2 up in the first set, managed to edge a second-set tie-break while continuing to grip at the back of his leg.

However, he was unable to repeat the trick at the second time of asking and became increasingly frustrated as the Russian wrested control of the match away from him.

Kyrgios appeared to be struggling for motivation at points and became increasingly vocal, but he hung in to take the victory to the delight of his fervent supporters.

The Australian has a strained relationship with Nadal, who he described as "salty" after their meeting at last year's Mexican Open and impersonated after being called for a time violation while serving against Gilles Simon in round two.

Asked about going up against the 19-time major champion in his on-court interview, Kyrgios said: "Whatever happened between us he's an amazing player. I'm not even thinking about that right now, I'm thinking about my legs and getting them in an ice bath and getting some food."

 

NO STOPPING NADAL

Nadal was at his imperious best against Carreno Busta, winning 87 per cent and 78 per cent of points behind his first and second serve respectively, while also smashing 41 winners – twice as many as his opponent.

"It was my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt. Big difference between today and the previous days. I have been serving well, starting to create damage with the forehand," said Nadal.

"Every day is a different story. But, of course, it's important to make steps forward. It's clear that today I made an important one."

Asked if he likes Kyrgios, Nadal said: "I don't know. I don't know him personally, honestly, to have a clear opinion."

 

RUBLEV ROLLS ON

Rublev started 2020 with titles at the Qatar Open and Brisbane International and has continued his fine form at Melbourne Park.

The world number 16's 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) triumph over David Goffin was his 15th match win in succession, four of which came in the Davis Cup Finals.

Rublev had wobbles after taking big leads in both tie-breaks, but Goffin made 27 unforced errors in the last two sets to help the Russian progress to a meeting with Zverev.

Seventh seed Zverev is yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park after overcoming Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-2 6-4.

 

"IT'S A DISGRACE"

After beating qualifier Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 to set up a fourth-round meeting with Dominic Thiem – who overcame 29th seed Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 – Monfils refuted a report claiming excessively playing video games led to him suffering a hand injury.

"You know, as I say, it's misunderstanding with people. I say this in a funny way, to be honest, but it's a disgrace, to be honest with you, because I'm fine," Monfils told reporters in a news conference.

"I'm in the second week, playing great tennis. I think it's just someone who, I don't know, try to — you know, I played ATP Cup, was fine. I practiced here for one month. I was really fine.

"I never said I was hurt. Somehow, you know, playing PlayStation, this? Come on. And it's easy, because I think I'm a good name to make up good story like that. Now you know."

Gael Monfils refuted a report claiming too much PlayStation was behind a hand injury after the French 10th seed progressed at the Australian Open.  

Monfils showed no sign of injury as he moved through to the fourth round at Melbourne Park thanks to Saturday's 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 victory over qualifier Ernests Gulbis.

Afterwards, Monfils was asked about his hand and fitness following a report citing video games, and the 33-year-old entertainer took aim at the media.

"You know, as I say, it's misunderstanding with people. I say this in a funny way, to be honest, but it's a disgrace, to be honest with you, because I'm fine," Monfils told reporters in a news conference.

"I'm in the second week, playing great tennis. I think it's just someone who, I don't know, try to — you know, I played ATP Cup, was fine. I practiced here for one month. I was really fine.

"I never said I was hurt. Somehow, you know, playing PlayStation, this? Come on. And it's easy, because I think I'm a good name to make up good story like that. Now you know."

Monfils will face fifth seed Dominic Thiem for a place in the Australian Open quarter-finals for the second time in his career.

Rafael Nadal is unsure whether he likes Nick Kyrgios ahead of a potential last-16 clash at the Australian Open amid the pair's tense relationship.

World number one Nadal raced through to the fourth round at Melbourne Park thanks to Saturday's ruthless 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory over fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.

Next up for 19-time grand slam champion Nadal is either maligned Australian Kyrgios or Karen Khachanov in Melbourne.

All eyes have been on Nadal and Kyrgios since the latter described the Spanish superstar as "salty" last year, after the duo exchanged words at the 2019 Mexican Open.

That feud has been thrust into the spotlight after Kyrgios impersonated Nadal – who has called for the 24-year-old to show more respect – as he was called for a time violation during his second-round win against Gilles Simon at Melbourne Park.

Nadal was asked about Kyrgios following his match on Rod Laver Arena and the 2009 Australian Open champion's response was telling.

"I don't know. I don't know him personally, honestly, to have a clear opinion," Nadal told reporters when asked if he liked Kyrgios. "It's clear, of course, that when he does stuff that in my opinion is not good, I don't like. 

"When he plays good tennis and he shows passion for this game, he is a positive player for our tour, and I want my tour bigger, not smaller.

"So the players who make the tour bigger are important for the tour. When he's ready to play his best tennis and play with passion, is one of these guys. When he's doing the other stuff, of course I don't like."

Nadal produced a breathtaking and efficient display of tennis against Davis Cup team-mate Carreno Busta, hitting 42 winners and just seven unforced errors under the Melbourne sun.

The four-time Australian Open runner-up needed just one hour, 38 minutes to reach the last 16 of a slam for the 47th time in his career.

"It was my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt. Big difference between today and the previous days," Nadal said. "I have been serving well, starting to create damage with the forehand. Hitting serve on one shot, I think."

World number one and top seed Rafael Nadal steamrolled fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4 to reach the Australian Open last 16.

Nadal, who is bidding to equal Roger Federer's men's record grand slam haul of 20 titles, barely raised a sweat in a dominant and brutal display in Melbourne on Saturday.

The 2009 Australian Open champion, Nadal hit 42 winners and just seven unforced errors without facing a break point in one hour, 38 minutes to earn a fourth-round meeting against either Nick Kyrgios or Karen Khachanov.

Nadal, who reached the last 16 of a slam for the 47th time in his career, stepped onto Rod Laver Arena to a thunderous roar and he dazzled the appreciative Melbourne crowd from the outset.

The four-time Australian Open runner-up drew collective gasps with some stunning shots as he raced out to a 2-0 lead under the Melbourne sun.

Carreno Busta only won three points after three games and it was the tone of the first set, which Nadal powered through in just 29 minutes - winning 100 per cent of his second serves and hitting nine winners.

Nadal's ferocious forehands and shot selection left Davis Cup team-mate Carreno Busta helpless and it continued in the second set, which was wrapped up two minutes quicker than the first.

It was another masterclass as Nadal racked up 15 winners to take a commanding two-sets-to-love lead – a position he has never lost from on 47 previous occasions at the Australian Open.

Like the opening two sets, Nadal enjoyed great success on Carreno Busta's serve and a break in the fifth game put him ahead and extended the Spanish superstar's winning streak against his countrymen to 18 matches.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Rafael Nadal [1] bt Pablo Carreno Busta [27] 6-1 6-2 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Nadal – 42/7
Carreno Busta – 21/16

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Nadal – 9/0
Carreno Busta – 6/1

BREAK POINTS WON 
Nadal – 5/10
Carreno Busta – 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Nadal – 63
Carreno Busta – 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Nadal – 87/78
Carreno Busta – 71/32

TOTAL POINTS 
Nadal – 79
Carreno Busta – 46

Roger Federer can banish the memories of last year's fourth-round Australian Open exit with victory against Marton Fucsovics on Sunday.

Federer was sent packing by Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2019 - the 20-time grand slam champion's earliest elimination from Melbourne Park since 2015.

The quarter-finals are on the horizon, though a lot will depend on how Federer recovers from his marathon third-round encounter.

We take a closer look at Federer's form ahead of his meeting with Fucsovics.

Form and results

It was all routine for Federer until Friday's marathon five-setter against local favourite John Millman, who stunned the Swiss maestro at the 2018 US Open. Federer survived a huge scare, rallying from a set down and reeling off six successive points to get past Millman in an epic contest to bring up a century of Australian Open match wins, despite a whopping 82 unforced errors after more than four hours on court.

R1: bt Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2
R2: bt Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1
R3: bt Millman 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8)

Next up

Fucsovics can look forward to a date with Federer. The unheralded Hungarian matched a career-best fourth-round appearance at a slam – again at Melbourne Park – after upstaging American sensation Tommy Paul in straight sets on Friday. World number 67 Fucsovics has already eliminated 13th seed Denis Shapovalov and Jannik Sinner this month. Fucsovics and Federer have met once before at the Australian Open, the latter triumphing in the last 16 two years ago.

Draw

Federer – eyeing a record-equalling seventh Australian Open title – is on track for a blockbuster semi-final with defending champion Novak Djokovic. It all depends on whether Federer can get past Fucsovics and either 12th seed Fabio Fognini or Tennys Sandgren in the quarters.

What he said

"I think if I do play tennis it's because of winning titles, trying to win as many matches as possible, enjoy myself out on court but also being in epic matches like this. Doesn't always have to be finals, I guess. As long as the crowds are into it, you have a great battle with an opponent who you really admire and respect, it's a good feeling. I'm happy I had that match tonight. I hope I would feel the same way also if I would have lost."

Novak Djokovic has barely raised a sweat as his quest for a record-extending eighth Australian Open crown continues against Diego Schwartzman in the Australian Open last 16 on Sunday.

After dropping a set in the first round and winning for the first time at the Australian Open, Djokovic has looked untouchable against back-to-back Japanese opponents.

The reigning champion and 16-time grand slam winner is in ominous form with an 11th quarter-final appearance in 13 years on the horizon.

We take a closer look at Djokovic's form as he prepares to face Schwartzman in Melbourne.

Form and results

Aside from a wobble against Jan-Lennard Struff in the opening round, it has been smooth sailing for Djokovic. The second seed's serve has stood out en route to the fourth round. After winning 93 per cent of his first serves in round two, Djokovic posted an identical figure in a straightforward victory over Yoshihito Nishioka on Friday. Only Milos Raonic (90 per cent) has won more first serves than Djokovic (87) through three rounds.

R1: bt Struff 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1
R2: bt Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2
R3: bt Nishioka 6-3 6-2 6-2

Next up

Diminutive Argentine 14th seed Schwartzman stands in the way of Djokovic and the last eight at Melbourne Park. Schwartzman prevented an all-Serbian clash after easing past 24th seed Dusan Lajovic in straight sets. Djokovic boasts a 3-0 head-to-head record against Schwartzman, winning the most recent encounter in the Internazionali d'Italia semi-finals last year. Two of the matches have been on clay, with their first meeting at the 2014 US Open.

Draw

The Australian Open is heating up. Should Djokovic get past Schwartzman for the fourth consecutive time, 32nd seed Milos Raonic or 2018 runner-up Marin Cilic await. Looking one step further and a semi-final showdown against 20-time slam champion and rival Roger Federer could be next.

What he said

"I'm very pleased to be plant-based and play on this level now for four and a half years. There has been a lot of criticism also. People around me didn't really think that I could do that. There is a lot of doubt and a lot of question marks. Hopefully I can inspire other athletes that it is possible to be plant-based and to recover well, to have strength, to have muscles. I'm not a weightlifter, of course, but I do have an optimal balance between the strength and power and speed."

Roger Federer shrugged off questions about his high unforced error count after he survived a massive Australian Open scare from John Millman. 

Federer appeared destined for a third-round exit when he fell behind 8-4 in the decisive match tie-break at the end of the fifth set.

Millman had come from two sets to one down to move within two points of victory, but Federer rattled off six successive points to seal his 100th win at the Australian Open 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8) in four hours and three minutes.

The 20-time grand slam champion prevailed despite hitting 82 unforced errors, 48 of them coming off the forehand side.

Asked about that number in his post-match media conference, Federer replied: "I mean, honestly, nothing against the statistics people, but over a four-hour match you're going to hit unforced errors.

"What is an unforced error? Is it when it comes at 120 [kilometres] an hour or 135 or you're on the stretch? So, for me, he pushed me to go for more.

"You know me – I'm not going to hold back and just rally all the time. I will always try to make plays, and for that, I will miss some.

"Of course, sometimes I wish I could have maybe hit a few more winners instead of unforced errors, but, you know, it shows how slow the courts can be, as well, you know, how many rallies get created, how he didn't serve and volley once.

"I served and volleyed maybe what, 10 times? Five times? It's that crazy at these moments. When you can come in and you play serve and volley and, you know, volley errors don't count I don't think ever, and rally errors always count. So, there you go."

Federer was effusive in his praise for Millman, who defeated the Swiss at the 2018 US Open.

"I just think he's just so, so tough from the baseline. He's got sort of good speed on the backhand, on the forehand," added Federer when asked why Millman is such a tough opponent.

"The way he hits it makes it, for me, unsure if I should pull the trigger or I shouldn't. Is it there to be hit or not? Every time I get a ball, I'm in two ways, because I have the option to do that with my game, but then he covers the court very well.

"Because he hits it hard enough, maybe it's harder for me to find [an] angle. I think the biggest problem for me was just I wasn't able to get… I was not returning poorly, per se; I was just not getting into those neutral rallies, finding the ways to unlock him.

"That's his credit. He's a great player. He's got great attitude, and that's why I mumbled something to him at the net just saying, 'I have so much respect for you, and it's such a pity, I'm so sorry, but well played', and all that stuff, because I really feel that way for John."

Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a surprise Australian Open exit at the hands of Milos Raonic in the third round on Friday.

The Greek was beaten in straight sets and managed not a single break point against the relentless power and precision of the Raonic serve.

Roger Federer ensured his 100th match win at Melbourne Park was among his most memorable as he survived a gruelling five-set encounter with John Millman.

The six-time champion remains on course for a semi-final against Novak Djokovic, who was ruthless in seeing off the challenge of Yoshihito Nishioka.

Roberto Bautista Agut was edged out by Marin Cilic, and there were also wins for Diego Schwartzman, Marton Fucsovics, Tennys Sandgren and Fabio Fognini.

 

RAONIC LEAVES TSITSIPAS REELING AS DJOKOVIC MARCHES ON

There was a shock for sixth seed Tsitsipas, who simply had no answer to the serve and forehand of Raonic in a 7-5 6-4 7-6 (7-2) defeat.

The 21-year-old struggled to make any inroads against the Raonic attack and was unable to muster even a solitary chance of a break against a player yet to drop serve in this year's tournament.

"It's one shot that you can get knocked down all the time, and you're just there, getting punched in the face with one shot. You can't do much," Tsitsipas said of facing the Canadian.

"I'm not saying it's luck. It's a skill. I felt a bit stupid returning his serves."

Defending champion Djokovic was in imperious form, dispatching Nishioka 6-3 6-2 6-2 to keep his quest for an eighth title on track.

Djokovic described the victory as "one of the best serving matches I've had lately" and credited coach Goran Ivanisevic after firing in 17 aces and dropping just eight points on serve to reach the second week in Melbourne for the 12th time.

The Serbian now faces Schwartzman, who saw off Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

TON UP FOR FEDERER AFTER TIE-BREAK TURNAROUND

Federer's 100th win at the Australian Open was secured at 0048 local time after a marathon encounter with Millman.

The 38-year-old triumphed 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8) after four hours and three minutes of brutal tennis against the Australian, who beat him at the US Open two years ago.

Federer fought back from a set down to lead but, after Millman forced a decider, momentum seemed to have swung his way in front of a crowd for once not overwhelmingly backing the Swiss great.

Millman led 3-0 and 8-4 in the final-set tie-break, but Federer rallied from the brink to earn the first match point and promptly took advantage when a Millman volley offered him a routine passing shot.

"Oh God, it was tough," Federer told Jim Courier on court after the match. "Thank God it was a match tie-break, otherwise I would have lost this one."

Federer will face Fucsovics in round four, the Hungarian having beaten Tommy Paul 6-1 6-1 6-4 in a one-sided match-up.

CILIC OUTLASTS BAUTISTA AGUT AS SANDGREN QUELLS QUERRY

Cilic, the beaten finalist in 2018, claimed a memorable 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-0 5-7 6-3 victory over ninth seed Bautista Agut to set up a fourth-round showdown with fellow serving heavyweight Raonic.

An all-American clash went the way of Sandgren, meanwhile, as he beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4 6-4.

Sandgren meets Fognini in round four, the Italian making relatively light work of Guido Pella in a 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-3 victory.

Roger Federer produced a dramatic late comeback in a fifth-set tie-break to survive a huge scare from John Millman and progress to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Day five had already seen Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Stefanos Tsitsipas dealt shock defeats, and there looked to be another in store as Millman surged into an 8-4 lead in the final-set tie-break having been two sets to one down.

Recent history was also on the side of Millman, who defeated Federer in the 2018 US Open, while the 20-time grand slam champion went into Friday's encounter having lost his previous three five-set matches.

However, Federer somehow reeled off six successive points, a stunning forehand pass securing a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10-8) win that marked his 100th at Melbourne Park and booked a last-16 clash with Marton Fucsovics.

The first set the tone for an uncharacteristically error-strewn performance from Federer.

He committed 14 unforced errors in the opener, and a double fault followed by a wayward forehand gifted Millman the early lead.

Millman faced the only break point of the second, but it was vintage Federer in the subsequent tie-break, the Swiss masterful in equal measure at the baseline and the net as he raced into a decisive 6-1 lead.

The third followed a markedly similar pattern with Federer finding no way through the Millman resistance. That was until the 10th game, when the Queenslander's composure cracked and he pushed long to seemingly give Federer control of the match.

But even as the errors crept into his game, Millman displayed a remarkable ability to trade blows with Federer in the longer exchanges and he brought up break point with a superb return before winning a tremendous rally that ended with the Swiss sending a forehand into the net.

Federer was 30-0 ahead in the subsequent game, only for four successive errors to allow Millman to hold, with a love hold then sending an absorbing contest to a fifth.

Another unforced error gave Millman the initiative in the decider and, though he gave the break back and squandered a pair of break points at 3-3, the home hope appeared on course to repeat his 2018 achievement in the tie-break.

Indeed, it was Millman who seemed to have the most left in the tank, and an astonishing cross-court pass put him within two points of victory.

Federer, though, is still capable of defying the odds at the age of 38, and he delivered a reminder that he should never be counted out with an emphatic response that capped an epic of four hours and three minutes in fitting fashion, his forehand passing shot making the most of an indecisive Millman volley.

Roger Federer secured his 100th Australian Open win by beating John Millman in Melbourne on Friday.

The Swiss star has never lost before the third round at the year's first grand slam and his title bid continued with an epic five-set triumph over the home favourite on Rod Laver Arena.

Federer moved onto a century of wins at the Australian Open, a year after reaching the same mark at Wimbledon.

The 20-time grand slam champion became the first man to post 100 wins at a single major by getting to the landmark at the All England Club.

We take a look at five of his best wins at the Australian Open.

 

First round, 2000: bt Michael Chang 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-5)

Federer's first win at the tournament came 20 years ago, when – ranked 62nd in the world – he upset Chang. Federer had finished 1999 by winning a Challenger Tour event in Brest and he got to the third round in Melbourne before falling to Arnaud Clement. An 18-year-old Federer showcased his talent by beating Chang in his opener, which marked his first main-draw singles win at a grand slam.

Semi-final, 2004: bt Juan Carlos Ferrero [3] 6-4 6-1 6-4

Federer produced a spectacular run on his way to a first Australian Open title in 2004, including rushing past Ferrero in the semi-finals. Having already beaten Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian, Federer needed less than 90 minutes to crush Ferrero and secure the world number one ranking before recording a straight-sets win over Marat Safin in the final.

Semi-final, 2007: bt Andy Roddick [6] 6-4 6-0 6-2

Federer tormented Roddick during the American's career but their last-four clash in 2007 promised to be a thriller, after the Swiss needed four sets to beat the same opponent months earlier in the US Open final. However, it proved to be anything but as Federer crushed Roddick in just 83 minutes. "I was playing out of my mind. I am shocked myself," Federer said afterwards.

Last 16, 2009: bt Tomas Berdych [20] 4-6 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-2

Only once in his illustrious career has Federer come from two sets to love down to win at the Australian Open and it came against the Czech in 2009. Berdych had taken complete control of the encounter before allowing Federer back into the match, the Swiss winning after three hours and 25 minutes. He would go on to reach the final before falling to Rafael Nadal in five sets.

Final, 2017: bt Rafael Nadal [9] 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3

Having undergone knee surgery the previous year, Federer started 2017 at the Hopman Cup but, without a major title since his 17th at Wimbledon in 2012, few gave him much of a chance in Melbourne. However, he fought his way into the final before edging Nadal in a thriller, moving onto 18 major titles and leaving his Spanish rival on 14.

Page 1 of 37
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.