Novak Djokovic eases past Tomas Martin Etcheverry at Australian Open

By Sports Desk January 19, 2024

Novak Djokovic found his form at the Australian Open in a straightforward win over Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

The 10-time champion has been struggling with illness and was well short of his best in his first two matches, particularly a second-round clash with Alexei Popyrin on Wednesday that he was lucky to escape.

But Djokovic, playing his 100th match at Melbourne Park, looked much more like his usual self in a 6-3 6-3 7-6 (2) victory over Argentina’s Etcheverry, who beat Andy Murray in the first round.

The Serbian was hitting his groundstrokes with their customary ferocity again and, although there were perhaps still a few more mistakes than he would have liked, he was always fully in control of his 92nd win on these grounds.

Djokovic said: “It was a great match, the best performance I had during this tournament. I’m pleased with the way I played throughout the entire match, particularly the first two sets.”

The form players of the first week have been fourth seed Jannik Sinner and big home hope Alex De Minaur.

Sinner finished last season beating Djokovic twice in one day as he led Italy to the Davis Cup title and has eased through to the fourth round here.

He dropped just four games in a 6-0 6-1 6-3 destruction of Sebastian Baez to set up a meeting with Russian Karen Khachanov, who was a semi-finalist here last year.

Sinner said: “Today’s match was really good. I played good tennis. I love the conditions also today, because was no wind and no sun.

“I felt great… I made the right decisions and I used every chance I had today, which maybe in the first match I was struggling a little bit. But it’s good to have this match feeling back again. I’m very excited to step on the court every time.

“I’m doing my job. I try to stay focused. I try to find a solution against every player I play. The next round is going to be different, it’s going to be tough.”

Khachanov, who has reached at least the quarter-finals at three of his last four slams, had a tougher time in beating Tomas Machac 6-4 7-6 (4) 4-6 7-6 (5).

De Minaur’s rise into the top 10 just before the tournament fuelled hopes of a first home winner of the men’s singles since Mark Edmondson in 1976, and he has dealt with the pressure immaculately so far.

The 24-year-old had no trouble getting past Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli, dropping only seven games in a 6-3 6-3 6-1 victory.

Last year’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas also had a comfortable afternoon, beating young Frenchman Luca Van Assche 6-3 6-0 6-4 to set up a clash with American 12th seed Taylor Fritz, who came from a set down to see off Fabian Marozsan 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2.

Related items

  • Defending champion Alcaraz stunned by Draper at Queen's Defending champion Alcaraz stunned by Draper at Queen's

    Jack Draper earned the biggest win of his career, upsetting defending Queen's Club champion Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets on Thursday.

    He followed up his first ATP tour title in Stuttgart with a statement win, beating the French Open winner 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

    He did not lose a service game in a dominant display, though Alcaraz did not lose one in the opening set either, forcing a tie-break before his sloppiness allowed Draper to edge in front.

    Despite Alcaraz bringing his usual threat, Draper got a vital break to make it 4-2 in the second set, rallying to see out a third victory against top-10 opposition.

    Draper will play fifth seed Tommy Paul in the quarter-finals.

    Data Debrief: Alcaraz sees streak snapped

    Alcaraz had won eight consecutive matches coming into this meeting thanks to his victory at Roland Garros, but could not find a way past Draper.

    The British number one impressed, especially in his serves, winning 76 per cent of his service points during the one hour 39 minute contest.

     

  • Sinner rallies to reach Halle Open quarter-finals Sinner rallies to reach Halle Open quarter-finals

    Jannik Sinner survived a scare to reach the quarter-finals of the Halle Open after beating Fabian Marozsan on Thursday.

    After having to go all the way in the opening round, Sinner was once again forced into a decider but eventually came out on top 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3.

    It looked like it might be an easier match for Sinner after he took the first set, but Marozsan rallied in the second. The world number one was able to force a tie-break, but he could not get the better of the Hungarian's aggressive play.

    Sinner did get a decisive break in the decider though, lunging to the net to get a vital point as he rushed into a 4-0 lead before holding out to reach the next round.

    Data Debrief: Sinner stays in the hunt

    Sinner is still chasing his first grass-court title, and looks like he will be pushed all the way to get one in Germany.

    He has improved his record for the season to 35-3 after beating Marozsan in their first ATP meeting.

  • Murray hopeful that latest injury will not affect Wimbledon participation Murray hopeful that latest injury will not affect Wimbledon participation

    Andy Murray hopes his latest injury will not rule him out of his Wimbledon swansong next month after withdrawing from the Queen's Club Championships on Wednesday.

    The former world number one was forced to retire against Jordan Thompson five games into their second-round encounter due to a back injury and pain in his right leg.

    It was a sad end for Murray, who has won the tournament a record five times. However, attention will immediately turn to being fit for Wimbledon, which starts on July 1. 

    "Let's hope it will be OK with some rest and treatment, and I'll still be able to play [at Wimbledon]," said Murray, who won two Wimbledon titles in 2013 and 2016.

    The three-time grand slam champion was set to play an exhibition event in Hurlingham next week before Wimbledon but looks likely to miss the event. 

    Murray had said earlier this week he felt ending his illustrious career at Wimbledon or the Olympics would be a fitting stage to retire from the sport. 

    The Scot is set to undergo a scan on Thursday to clarify his potential participation at the tournament next month, where he is also due to play in the doubles alongside his older brother, Jamie. 

    "I don't know exactly what the problem is. I hadn't experienced that before," said Murray. "I have no idea how long it will take to get better and what the treatment options are."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.