Tennis: Djokovic, Ferrer move into quarter finals

TENNIS-AUS-OPEN

Djokovic: into third round

Djokovic gestures after knocking off Fabio Fognini
Djokovic gestures after knocking off Fabio Fognini

Defending champion Novak Djokovic romped past Italian seed Fabio Fognini into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.

The Serbian second seed beat Fognini 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 in one hour 33 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

But Spain’s world number three David Ferrer had to work much harder to see off unseeded German Florian Mayer in four sets to reach the quarter-finals.

Ferrer lost the opening set before going on to win 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 in just under three hours.

Djokovic said he was constantly improving after reaching his 19th straight Grand Slam quarter-final.

Only Roger Federer (36) and Jimmy Connors (27) have more consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances than Djokovic.

The Serb, who is bidding for a fifth Australian title and his seventh Grand Slam, stretched his unbeaten match run to 28 since his US Open triumph in New York last September.

Buddy handshake: Djokovic and Fabio Fognini after their match
Buddy handshake: Djokovic and Fabio Fognini after their match

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He will face either Swiss eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka or 17th-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo in the quarters.

In a one-sided contest, Djokovic broke Fognini’s service six times from 22 break point opportunities and hit 33 winners past the at times lackadaisical Italian.

Djokovic, who has been friends with Fognini since their junior playing days in Europe, maintained his focus as the Italian played to the crowd and performed with little intensity.

“I knew that he’s a flashy kind of player that if he feels good, if he’s focused enough, he can be very dangerous opponent on any surface,” Djokovic said.

“He’s playing the best tennis of his life in last year and a half and he can challenge anybody.

“So I did not take anything really for granted. I went out there preparing for this match as well as I do for any.”