MELBOURNE: Eight-time winner Novak Djokovic competed against a team that beat Milos Raonic as the tournament drew to a close and reached the Australian Open quarterfinals on Sunday.
Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams escaped panic, but US Open champion Dominic Them suffered a major blow when he fell to Bulgaria’s Gregor Dimitrov.
Simona Halep avenged her crushing French Open defeat at the hands of Polish teenager Iga Swiatek for a meeting with Williams, while Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei Sui reached her first slim quarter-final at the age of 35. Djokovic raises alarm over stomach injury. He fought five sets with Taylor Fritz, but showed some signs of victory in his 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory.
However, the 17-time Grand Slam winner said he has spent “every hour” trying to recover since Friday’s victory.
The defending champion will next face sixth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany, who defeated Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 when he won his first Grand Slam title. ۔
Earlier, Japan’s Osaka started a thrilling bout with fellow major winner Garbine Maguroza, and Williams underwent a physical exam to maintain a bid for the 24th Grand Slam title against Arena Sabalinka.
In an empty Rod Lever Arena, the second day of five days with spectators, Corona virus lockdown was banned across the state, Osaka was on the verge of finishing 3-5, 15-40 while serving in the third set. ۔
But the three-time big champion defeated by four points in a row and then twice defeated Maguroza’s team 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Osaka face Hasia in the All-Asian Quarterfinals, beating Marketa Vondrousova 6-4, 6-2 to advance to their first Slam quarterfinals in 16 years.
Williams, 39, was also meeting Sabalenka for the first time and had to attack Belarus to reach the last eight 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
But a tiring theme slipped straight into the hands of Dimitrov shortly after a five-set victory over Australia’s Nick Kergius, who beat him 6-6, 6-4, 6-0 in just two hours.
Dimitrov’s victory against the third seed and last year’s runner-up theme set a quarter-final with the amazing package of Aslan Karatsev, who is in the last eight of his Grand Slam debut.
Karatsev became the first player in 25 years to reach the quarterfinals in his Grand Slam debut, defeating Felix Auger Aliassime in five sets.
The 27-year-old, a virtual unknown before the start of the tournament, beat Canada 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to fall two sets behind.
Halep won just three games last year against the 19-year-old Swetik at Roland Gears, but he turned the table 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.