In the round of 16 on Sunday in Melbourne, the defending champion outclassed the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6:0.6:0.6:3 and showed his best tournament performance so far this year. In the women’s category, Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka and the American Coco Gauff made it to the quarter-finals with similar confidence. And the Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk also progressed safely.
Djokovic only needed 1:44 hours for his comfortable victory. Mannarino’s strain was clearly noticeable after three five-set wins in the previous games. “The first two sets were the best I’ve played in a long time,” said Djokovic after his impressive performance. “All in all it was a great performance,” said the ten-time Melbourne winner. “I’m on a very good path in terms of health and sport,” said the 36-year-old, who was struggling with a cold at the start of the tournament.
Defending champion Sabalenka won against the American Amanda Anisimova 6:3, 6:2 and is therefore at the first Grand Slam tournament of the year without losing a set like Gauff. The 19-year-old effortlessly outclassed Poland’s Magdalena Frech 6:1.6:2 and is in the last eight of this major for the first time.
“It was a great honor today to play in front of Rod Laver in his arena,” said Gauff after her eleventh win in a row at a Grand Slam tournament. The 85-year-old Australian, eleven-time winner of Grand Slam tournaments, watched the game in the arena named after him from the front row. “Thank you for coming to my game,” Gauff said. She will now play against the unseeded Ukrainian Kostjuk and against the Russian qualifier Maria Timofejewa (6:2, 6:1 winner).
Sabalenka had to work a little harder against Anisimova than in the previous three rounds. In the end, however, she prevailed confidently. For the 25-year-old, it was only her second success in her sixth duel with the American. “I’m very happy with my level. I hope I can stay here until the last day.”
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