Djokovic slides past Italian Fognini


Novak Djokovic made light work of Italian 15th seed Fabio Fognini to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

Djokovic's 6-3 6-0 6-2 win in 93 minutes continued a dominant week for the Open favourite, who is yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park.

The Serb won the opening set with a solitary break and without statistical domination but stepped up his game emphatically from the second set.

From the fourth deuce of the opening game, Djokovic won 14 of the next 15 points to surge to 4-0 and effectively end the contest.

A mesmerising mid-air swipe in the next game akin to a scene from The Matrix typified Djokovic's status as the chosen one, with Fognini powerless to resist.

Despite the match slipping away from him, the brash Italian hammed it up on the centre court stage, joking with the crowd and hitting powerful winners when the few opportunities arose.

Djokovic, who counts Fognini as one of his oldest friends on tour, said maintaining his focus was crucial to the win.

"Obviously I wanted to laugh at his jokes but I didn't want to have any lapse in concentration," he said.

"It's never easy but I think I played a great match from the beginning to the end."

Djokovic celebrated the win by sending up his new coach Boris Becker to the delight of the capacity Rod Laver Arena crowd.

Joining Djokovic in the last eight is Spanish third seed David Ferrer, who did it tougher against German journeyman Florian Mayer.

Ferrer took just under three hours to defeat Mayer 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-2 6-1 and book his ninth straight grand-slam quarter-final appearance.

It was Mayer who started fastest, combining impressive mobility with an unpredictable shot choice to disrupt Ferrer, leading through the set with an early break.

Ferrer found his range, broke back with an impressive string of forehand winners and forced a tie-break. But Mayer was too strong, winning 7-5.

Bayer, who had already claimed the scalp of 14th seed Mikhail Youzhny and 20th seed Jerzy Janowicz in his past two matches, looked a good chance to continue his giant-killing run until Ferrer upped his game.

After admonishing himself in the tie-break, Ferrer raced to 4-0 with 10 winners before Mayer had made one.

But again Mayer made himself a menace, reeling in Ferrer's lead to draw level at 5-5 before succumbing to the Spaniard's consistency and foot speed to lose the set 7-5.

Ferrer put the foot down from that point, scorching a series of trademark running winners to close out the match in four sets.

Seventh seed Tomas Berdych had the opportunity to set up a meeting with Ferrer when he played 19th seed Kevin Anderson overnight.

Djokovic will play the winner between eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka and 17th seed Tommy Robredo. AAP

Novak Djokovic stretches a forehand against Fabio Fognini on the way to despatching the Italian in Melbourne. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Novak Djokovic stretches a forehand against Fabio Fognini on the way to despatching the Italian in Melbourne. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


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