Millennium Post

Vintage Djokovic reigns supreme

Vintage Djokovic reigns supreme
The four-time champion did not have his service broken as he powered through to play Canada’s Milos Raonic for a place in the semifinal. Djokovic was outstanding on service, winning a high 82 percent of first serves and fighting off four break points. The Serb top seed hit 47 winners and only 16 unforced errors in a masterly performance against the left-handed Muller. “I got the crucial three breaks at the important moments, especially in the second and third at 5-all, managed to play some good passing shots. I was fortunate to serve very well in important moments in the third set and not allow him to capitalise on his break point opportunities,” Djokovic said.

Raonic became the first Canadian man to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals in 47 years in a five-set battle with Feliciano Lopez. The eighth seed thundered down 30 aces as he made the last eight with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (7/9) 6-3 win over the 12th-seed in 3hr5min on Hisense Arena.

Raonic created Canadian tennis history by becoming the first man since Michael Belkin in 1968 to win through to the quarters at the Australian Open. He also equalled countryman Robert Powell’s feat of playing in three Grand Slam quarter-finals set back at the 1908, 1910 and 1912 Wimbledons.

“It’s great to be doing what I’m doing and that it is making a difference. It is, I guess, part of some history, if you look really deep. But at the end of the day, at the same time, I’m always pushing myself for what I want to achieve,” Raonic said.

Wawrinka clinched a thrilling fourth set tiebreaker to down Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The fourth seed prevailed 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10/8) in just over three hours and will play Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the last eight. Garcia-Lopez, who knocked Wawrinka out in the first round at last year’s French Open, held four set points at 6-2 in the tiebreaker to take the match into a fifth set before the Swiss star roared back. Wawrinka had match point at 7-6 before the Spaniard got a fifth set point only to again be denied. He then clinched it on his second match point.

“At 6-2 I knew it was close to come back because I had the wind with me. I had to focus on every point. I knew if I was going to come back at 6-5, he was going to get nervous. I did a good passing shot, along the line. I just focused point after point,” the Swiss said.

Nishikori swept into the last eight with a relatively comfortable 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over Spanish terrier David Ferrer to advance to his third Grand Slam quarterfinal. The US Open finalist expected a longer match with the tenacious Ferrer, but now has beaten the Spanish ninth seed and former Australian Open semifinalist at their last five encounters.
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