2020 in Review: Novak Djokovic ousts Yoshihito Nishioka to remain on title course



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2020 in Review: Novak Djokovic ousts Yoshihito Nishioka to remain on title course

World no. 2 and the seven-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic entered the Australian Open fourth round for the 13th time, beating the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in swift an hour and 26 minutes. It was another impressive display from the top favorite, controlling the pace from start to finish and delivering his 71st victory at the beloved Major, setting a Diego Schwartzman clash for a place in the quarters.

Djokovic blasted 17 aces and lost six points on serve, many of those in the last game when he had to save a lone break chance, standing above the opponent and hitting 40 winners and 23 unforced errors. Unable to follow those numbers, Nishioka got broken five times from six opportunities offered to Novak, who did just about everything right for another dominant victory en route to the eighth Australian Open crown.

Novak was off to a flying start, dropping one point behind the initial shot in the opener and challenging Yoshihito to repeat those numbers if he wanted to stay in contention. A left-hander sent a backhand long to give serve away already in game two before Novak held at 15 in the next one to open a 3-0 advantage after swift seven minutes.

The Serb secured the fifth game at love with a backhand winner, placing another direct point at 4-2 to keep the strings in his hands.

Novak Djokovic defeated Yoshihito Nishioka in straight sets in Melbourne.

The Japanese saved a set point in game eight with a service winner, placing another from a forehand wing to reduce the deficit to 3-5.

Serving for the set in game nine, the Serb fired three service winners to clinch it 6-3 in 29 minutes, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter. Playing better and better in those moments, Djokovic grabbed all 16 points on serve in set number two to secure four perfect holds, forcing an error from Yoshihito to clinch a break in the first game that sent him in front.

Powerless on the return, the Japanese couldn't stay within that one break deficit, losing serve at 15 at 2-4 following a loose backhand and allowing Novak to wrap up the set with a service winner a few minutes later, forging a 6-3, 6-2 advantage in under an hour.

Nothing changed in set number three, with Djokovic remaining the dominant force on the court. Novak broke at love in the first game and again two games later thanks to a volley error from the Japanese at the net. Serving for the triumph at 5-2, Djokovic repelled a break point with an ace down the T line, earning a match point with a backhand crosscourt winner and sealing the deal after Nishioka's backhand mistake to advance into the last 16.