Djokovic wears down Medvedev to reach last eight

Novak Djokovic stayed on course to make history at Melbourne Park by getting past Daniil Medvedev in four sets.

World number one Novak Djokovic   -  Getty Images

Novak Djokovic continued his quest to win a record seventh Australian Open title by reaching the quarterfinals with a battling defeat of Daniil Medvedev.

The tireless world number one, attempting to become the first man to win the tournament more than six times, fought his way to a 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-3 victory at Rod Laver Arena. 

Medvedev stated that Djokovic is not the player he used to be ahead of the fourth-round contest and might have been regretting those comments as the top seed made him toil for large spells of a match which finished in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

 

The 15th seed from Russia had not dropped a set en route to the last 16 and put up a good fight, but Djokovic ground him down to set up a last-eight encounter with Kei Nishikori.

Djokovic bossed the majority of the longer rallies, his incredible fitness levels shining through yet again as he stayed on course for a third consecutive grand slam title - and the 15th of his career.

Djokovic stands firm

The Wimbledon and US Open champion showed frustration with the crowd early on but saved a break point by winning a high-quality rally with a cushioned backhand volley at the net and claimed the first break in the next game to lead 4-2.

Medvedev got back on serve at 5-4 when Djokovic dumped a backhand into the net, but the Serb was dictating the longer rallies and wrapped up the set with a backhand winner after a double fault from the 22-year-old.

Djokovic continued to work his exhausted-looking opponent from side to side as he charged into a 5-1 lead in the second set, but the former thrashed a ball in fury after being pegged back at 4-4.

Medvedev maintained his momentum in the tie-break, putting away an easy passing shot after a Djokovic forehand bounced up off the net cord and drawing level when the flustered favourite thudded a forehand into the net.

Djokovic suffered a fall early in the third but picked himself up to regain the upper hand after fending off a break point, going 3-2 up when his opponent sprayed a backhand wide and winning four games in a row to take the set.

Both players tired as the clock ticked past midnight, but Djokovic had enough left in the tank to avoid going the distance, breaking twice in a fourth set he ended with a forehand winner to go through.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Djokovic [1] bt Medvedev [15] 6-4 6-7 {5-7] 6-2 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 43/50
Medvedev - 38/49

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic - 6/5
Medvedev - 18/6

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic - 7/18
Medvedev - 2/9

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Djokovic - 67
Medvedev - 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Djokovic - 73/50
Medvedev - 70/35

TOTAL POINTS
Djokovic - 142
Medvedev - 126