PAP/EPA / Lukas Koch / Pictured: Novak Djokovic (back) and Adrian Mannarino
Novak Djokovic gave Adrian Mannarino three games in the fourth round of the 2024 Australian Open Grand Slam tournament played on the hard courts of Melbourne and at this level such high-profile victories are almost rare.
The fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament is the moment when the best players come into play. According to this unwritten rule, on Sunday Novak Djokovic played the best match of this year's edition of the Australian Open. In the match, which was held under a closed roof at Rod Laver Arena, the top-seeded Serb defeated 20th-seeded Adrian Mannarino, winning 6-0, 6-0, 6-3.
The 35-year-old Mannarino, who played three five-setters en route to the round of 16, hit a wall on Sunday. The Frenchman had no way to threaten his famous rival in any way. Djokovic was powerful, reliable and devastatingly efficient – winning the first two sets without losing a game.
At this point, Djokovic once again made history in tennis – he became the first tennis player since the creation of the ATP rankings in 1973 who did not lose a match in the first two sets of a match against a top 20 opponent in a Grand Slam tournament. .
The Serbian also became the third player in history to win the first two matches by 6-0 in the second week of a Grand Slam, after Björn Borg (6-0, 6-0, 6-1 with Terry Moore in the finals of Roland Garros 1/8 1981). And Karen Khachanov [6:0, 6:0, 7:6(4) z Yoshihito Nishioką w 1/8 finału Australian Open 2023].
Djokovic's streak ended on Sunday, 6-0, 6-0, 1-0. Mannarino then won the first game of the match and was rewarded with a standing ovation which he himself acknowledged with a wide smile. Ultimately, the Frenchman improved his achievements, but did not put Djokovic in a difficult position at any point.
-It's not easy to play with Adrian. He is an unorthodox tennis player who uses angles well and has one of the best flat backhands in competition. It was like a game of cat and mouse. I had to endure long rallies and force him to run around the field. I think I served well too,” the tennis player from Belgrade said, quoted by atptour.com. -I haven't played decks as good as the first two in a long time. He added: But the tension increased in the third half and I didn't really want to prolong the match.
The 36-year-old Djokovic qualified for the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam tournaments for the 58th time in his career, equaling the record set by Roger Federer. He reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the 15th time, equaling Rafael Nadal and John Newcombe, and in this regard he comes in second place only after Federer (16). He also won the 93rd match of his career and the 32nd match in a row in Melbourne. He has never won so many matches in a Grand Slam tournament.
Djokovic's next opponent on Tuesday, on course for his 25th Grand Slam title and 11th Australian Open, will be either Taylor Fritz or Stefanos Tsitsipas, whom he defeated in last year's final in Melbourne.
Australian Open, Melbourne (Australia)
Grand Slam, hard court, prize pool A$86.5 million
Sunday 21 January
Fourth round of singles:
Novak Djokovic (Serbia, 1) – Adrian Mannarino (France, 20) 6:0, 6:0, 6:3
Program and results of the men's tournament
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