Aus Open: Djokovic through but Thiem knocked out

MELBOURNE, FEB 14 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 2/14/2021 12:50:30 PM IST

Defending champion Novak Djokovic came through a stiff test of his fitness as he moved into the Australian Open quarter-finals, but third seed Dominic Thiem was stunned by Grigor Dimitrov.

Bulgarian Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in 2017, dismantled the US Open champion of Austria 6-4 6-4 6-0.

World number one Djokovic, struggling with an abdominal injury picked up on Friday, beat Milos Raonic in four sets.

The Serbian eight-time Australian Open champion won 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-1 6-4.

He will play sixth seed Alexander Zverev after the German beat Djokovic’s compatriot DusanLajovic 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-3. Dimitrov, the 18th seed, will face Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who stunned Felix Auger-Aliassime as his dream Grand Slam debut continued.

Thiem came through a gruelling five-setter against Nick Kyrgios on Friday to reach this stage, fighting back from two sets down, but there was no such reprieve against Dimitrov on Sunday. The Austrian looked to have taken the momentum with a break in the opening set, but Dimitrov immediately broke back and won four successive games on his way to taking the first set. It was the same pattern in the second set, a Thiem break followed by a revival from the 29-year-old, before he motored to victory in the final set to win in just over two hours on Rod Laver Arena.

Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams into last eight
Naomi Osaka saved two match points and Serena Williams was taken to three sets as two of the favourites reached the Australian Open quarter-finals.
Having lost the opening set to Garbine Muguruza, Japan’s Osaka was a break down in the second and faced two match points at 5-3 in the third.
But she won four games in a row to win 4-6 6-4 7-5 against the Spaniard, who is also a former world number one.
Williams then came through 6-4 2-6 6-4 against Belarusian ArynaSabalenka. The American surged into a 4-1 lead in an entertaining final set, before 22-year-old seventh seed Sabalenka broke back and levelled at 4-4.
But Williams held serve and then broke her opponent’s serve to clinch the win and keep alive her hopes of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title.
Williams will face second seed Simona Halep, who recovered to beat 19-year-old French Open champion IgaSwiatek 3-6 6-1 6-4.
Osaka, who won the second of her three Grand Slams at the Australian Open in 2019, will face Hsieh Su-Wei in the last eight.
Zverev reaches last eight with easy win over Lajovic
German sixth seed Alexander Zverev used his powerful serve to good effect to overcome 23rd seed DusanLajovic of Serbia 6-4 7-6(5) 6-3 on Sunday and reach the Australian Open quarter-finals. Zverev needed five sets to beat Lajovic in each of their two previous meetings at the French Open, but the 23-year-old was in a more ruthless mood on Margaret Court Arena and sealed victory with his 15th ace. The German got 72% of his first serves in and racked up 44 winners to dominate the 30-year-old Lajovic throughout the match to register his 50th win in majors.
Lajovic started strongly by breaking the German early to take a 2-0 lead in the opening set but Zverev broke back in the next game and did not look back.


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