Djokovic through to Australian Open quarters to face Rublev

Melbourne, Australia, Jan 23 (EFE).- Novak Djokovic breezed past local Alex de Minaur in straight sets to set up a tie with Andrey Rublev in what will be the first Australian Open quarter finals not to feature a Spaniard since 2006 after Roberto Bautista Agut was knocked out by Tommy Paul.

In the women’s singles, Karolina Pliskova, Magda Linette, Donna Vekic and Aryna Sabalenka booked spots in the quarters.

Fourth-seed Djokovic took just two hours and six minutes to brush aside De Minaur (8) 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 and appeared to have overcome, for now, the hamstring issues that threw up difficulties in his duels with Grigor Dimitrov (27) and Enzo Couacaud.

“I cannot say I am sorry you didn’t get a longer match, I wanted to win in straight sets,” Djokovic, who has won nine Australian Opens and is gunning for his 22nd career Grand Slam, told former player Jim Courier in an post-match interview at the Rod Laver Arena.

“Obviously I was dealing with an injury, I don’t feel anything today,” he added.

Over at the Margaret Court Arena, the last Spaniard standing in the competition, Bautista Agut (24), was defeated by Paul 2-6, 6-4, 2-6, 5-7 as the American set up a quarter final date with compatriot Ben Shelton on Wednesday.

Shelton prevailed over another American, J.J. Wolf, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-2 at the John Cain Arena earlier on Monday while Rublev overcame Dane Holger Rune 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (11-9) and will go on to face Serbia’s Djokovic Wednesday.

The women’s singles quarter finals have also taken shape as Elena Rybakina (22) prepares to face Jelena Ostapenko (17) on Tuesday ahead of a duel between Jessica Pegula (3) and Victoria Azarenka (24).

On Wednesday, Pliskova will take on Linette and Vekic will face off with Sabalenka.

The men’s singles quarter finals kick off on Tuesday, too, with Karen Kachanov (18) against Sebastian Korda (29) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) against Jiri Lehecka. EFE


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