Novak Djokovic overcomes injury to reach Australian Open round of 16
Novak Djokovic beat Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 6-4 to reach the last 16 of the Australian Open despite a tough performance from the world No.5. Go to points during the match.
Djokovic, who is arguably the favorite to win the tournament after the withdrawals of Rafael Nadal and Casper Rudd, came into Saturday’s clash with a hamstring injury, although he appeared to ease those concerns by breaking Dimitrov’s serve in the first game. was
But Djokovic strained his hamstring later in the first set and was forced to take a medical timeout after winning a grueling tie break.
After some healing, Djokovic returned a new man and took advantage of Dimitrov’s loose game to take the second set comfortably.
The Bulgarian had not dropped a set in the last two rounds, but could not keep up with the metronomic Djokovic.
Despite playing well in the first set, Dimitrov could not recover after losing it.
He was sensational at times, serving 15 aces and playing some brilliant shots, but always for a brilliant stroke, was equally wild and finished the match with 50 unforced errors.
If there’s anyone who can punish stupid mistakes, even when hurt, it’s the merciless Djokovic.
It wasn’t a spectacular victory, but despite struggling with fitness, Djokovic’s defense remained unwavering and repeatedly frustrated Dimitrov.
After an unbroken third set in which five serves were broken, Djokovic eventually closed out the match to win in straight sets and continue his quest for a 22nd Grand Slam title.
Djokovic will now face Australia’s Alex de Minaur in the round of 16 and the 23-year-old will have the home crowd behind him.