2020 in Review: Novak Djokovic tames Diego Schwartzman to reach quarters



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2020 in Review: Novak Djokovic tames Diego Schwartzman to reach quarters

World no. 2 Novak Djokovic advanced to his 11th Australian Open quarter-final and the 46th at Majors, beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and six minutes. After a shaky performance in the first round against Jan-Lennard Struff, Novak found the rhythm in Melbourne, beating three short rivals (Tatsuma Ito and Yoshihito Nishioka in rounds two and three) to find himself in the last eight.

The Serb couldn't win as many points behind the first serve as in the previous two encounters. However, it was still enough to allow Schwartzman only one break of serve, raising the pressure on the Argentine who couldn't endure it, despite the fact he scored three straight-sets triumphs in Melbourne.

Djokovic hit almost 40 winners and 31 unforced errors, delivering four breaks and saving energy for the next rounds against a formidable opponent who is never easy to beat. The Serb forged a massive advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes with his serve and the first initial shot, reducing his opponent to 15 winners and outplaying him in the most extended exchanges too.

Taming his strokes nicely, Novak didn't face a break point in the opening set, waiting for a chance on the return and seizing it in the eighth game when Diego netted a backhand after two game points missed. Serving at 5-3, Novak held at 30 with a service winner to grab the opener in 38 minutes.

Schwartzman netted a forehand to suffer a break in the second set's opening game, allowing Djokovic to move 2-0 up following a service winner.

Novak Djokovic beat Diego Schwartzman to reach the last eight in Melbourne.

The Argentine played a loose volley to give serve away for the third straight time and find himself 3-0 down, pulling one break back in the next game thanks to a backhand winner at the net.

Djokovic moved 4-2 ahead with a service winner in game six and produced another ace in game eight that moved him closer to the finish line. Schwartzman grabbed the ninth game with an unreturned serve before Djokovic held at love following a terrible volley from his opponent at the net to move two sets to love in front after an hour and 18 minutes.

Returning at 2-2 in set number three, Novak clinched a break at love and saved a break chance in the next one to confirm the advantage. Facing three break opportunities at 2-4, Diego dug deep to repel them and remain within one break deficit until the tenth game when Novak held at love with a service winner to move into the next round where he faced Milos Raonic.