Novak Djokovic breezed past home hope Alex de Minaur on his way to a record-extending 10th men’s title at the Australian Open.
Serbia’s Djokovic, 35, was still wearing a thigh brace but looked unfazed as he won 6-2 6-1 6-2.
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In the quarterfinals, the fourth seed will face Russian Andrey Rublev.
Rublev, the fifth seed, saved two match points and rallied from 5-0 down in the final set tie-break to defeat Danish teenager Holger Rune.
Later that day, the 25-year-old learned he would face Djokovic after the former world number one proved too good for the 22nd seed De Minaur.
Rublev joked about facing Djokovic, saying, “No one wants to face Novak, I want to be in the other half of the draw.”
Djokovic has been wearing strapping to protect a hamstring injury throughout the tournament and requested treatment during a medical timeout during his third-round win over Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.
Despite his fans’ concerns, he moved freely in a confident win over De Minaur that took two hours and six minutes.
“I kept my focus all the way through to play my best match of this year so far,” said Djokovic.
“Tonight it wasn’t obvious I was dealing with an injury. I didn’t feel anything today, today was great.”
De Minaur, the final Australian to lose in the singles, was unable to match Djokovic’s quality and precision from the baseline.
When the two meet on Wednesday, Rublev should put Djokovic’s fitness and incredible record at Melbourne Park to the test.
Djokovic famously did not play last year due to a disagreement over his vaccination status, which resulted in court hearings and his eventual deportation.
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On his return, he has picked up where he left off at his “second home,” extending his winning streak to 26 matches.
Djokovic is aiming for a record-equaling 22nd men’s Grand Slam title as well as a 10th Australian Open title.