Melbourne, Australia, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- Top-seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Sunday found a way through discomfort to seal his 300th Grand Slam victory with Australian Open fourth round win against Canada’s Milos Raonic.
The abdominal injury Djokovic suffered during his five-set win over US’ Taylor Fritz in the previous round weighed on the eight-time Australian Open champion who needed nearly three hours to earn a 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory.
“If it was any other tournament than a Grand Slam, I would retire from the event that’s for sure. Because it’s a Grand Slam, I want to give my best,” the second most Grand Slam decorated player said afterwards.
“I did not know before I finish my warm up today three hours before I entered the court… whether I am going to play or not
During the match today it was kind of in and off. It is not ideal, but I cannot complain. I won the match against a great player,” he added having conceded a set against Raonic in a Grand Slam for the first time in their fourth major clash.
Eyeing his first victory over Djokovic after 11 consecutive defeats, Raonic held serve throughout the first set, as did the Serb, who then claimed the set through a tiebreak.
Raonic has to wait till halfway through the second set to break Djokovic’s serve for the first and only time for a 3-2 lead, which he built on to clinch the set.
Djokovic, however, did not offer him any chance during the following two sets as he booked a place in the Australian Open last-8 for the 12th time, where he will play Germany’s Alexander Zverev, who prevailed over Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic in straight sets.
Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, pulled off a big upset as he stunned the third-seed Dominic Thiem, the 2020 US Open champion 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.
Next up for Dimitrov will be Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who rallied from two sets down to defeat Canada’s Félix Auger-Aliassime, seeded No. 20, 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. EFE-EPA