In his 18 trips to Melbourne, Novak Djokovic has qualified for the final 16 of the Australian Open 15 times. Even though Novak still has a left leg injury, he was able to defeat Grigor Dimitrov in three hours and six minutes by scores of 7-6, 6-3, and 6-4.
Djokovic, who is still not at his peak due to a hamstring issue, battled through the first set to win in straight sets and conserve energy. Both players made less unforced errors than errors, but Grigor was more assertive.
Djokovic produced five breaks and dropped his service three times to win the match against Alex de Minaur and move up to the top. The first set went all the way and took 80 minutes! In the tie break, Novak had to play against a set point after he wasted his prior opportunities to take it.
Considering his physical condition, he successfully denied it and gained a tremendous amount of confidence. Having a good opening, Novak defeated Grigor in the first game of the match. Following his opening shot, the Serb found a smooth rhythm and produced four easy holds to establish a 5-3 lead.
In game nine, Dimitrov served to tie the score and was given three set points. Before the Serb served the set at 5-4, the Bulgarian stopped them and cut the gap.
Novak Djokovic has advanced to the Australian Open’s round of 16 matches.
Suddenly, Novak suffered his first break, and on the next one, Grigor held at love for his first benefit. At 5-6, Djokovic served but ran into more difficulties because of his severely bothersome leg. Two set points were presented to a nine-time champion, who defended them to start a tie break.
Prior to Grigor pulling even at 5-5, Novak served superbly and established a 5-2 lead. At 5-6, the Bulgarian took the following set point and converted it to give himself a set point. After a successful volley near the net, Djokovic erased it and won the tiebreaker 9-7.
Novak served brilliantly in the second set and kept the pressure on the opposing team since he had momentum on his side. In the fourth game, Grigor avoided danger by preserving break points and maintaining his composure. To close the 4-2 deficit, Djokovic broke him in game six. Then, in game nine, he held at love to win the set.
With two close games featuring numerous aces to start the third set, Novak took the lead right away (2-0). To increase his lead to 3-0 and advance toward the finish line, he once more stole Grigor’s serve. In game four, Dimitrov recovered a break before Djokovic broke him for the third time in a row a short while later to make it 4-1.
In game six, Novak dropped a game point and was broken, keeping the opposition within one break of victory. With another excellent hold, the Serb increased his lead to 5-3. In game nine, the Bulgarian cut the gap with a forehand victory. After an amazing rally, Novak served for the win at 5-4 and generated match points. On the first point, Dimitrov blasted a forehand mistake, sending Djokovic on to the next round.