2021 in Review: Novak Djokovic downs Milos Raonic to reach the quarter-final

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2021 in Review: Novak Djokovic downs Milos Raonic to reach the quarter-final

The defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic advanced to his 12th quarter-final in Melbourne thanks to a 7-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Milos Raonic, beating the Canadian for the 12th time from as many meetings!

Djokovic lost serve once from three chances offered to Raonic and seized three breaks in sets three and four that carried him over the top. Novak provided six comfortable holds in the opening set to continue where he left against Taylor Fritz from the moment he suffered a break in the fourth set's early stages.

The Serb held at 15 with an ace in game six for 3-3 after 22 minutes and created the first break chance a few minutes later. Raonic saved it to remain on the positive side and did the same at 4-4 when he got out of jail with a service winner.

Novak had the upper hand in the tie break and won it 7-4 after forcing Milos' errors, moving a set in front after 56 minutes. Both players wasted one break opportunity in the second set's games two and three, and it was Raonic who grabbed his only break in game five to forge the lead.

Novak Djokovic toppled Milos Raonic in four sets at the Australian Open.

The Canadian closed the sixth game with an ace and held after deuce at 4-3 to remain ahead. Serving for the set at 5-4, Milos held at 15 to bring it home and extend his chances.

Determined to get back on the winning road, Novak produced four powerful holds in set number three and scored a double break for 6-1. Djokovic earned a break in the fourth game when Raonic sprayed a forehand error and held after deuce in the next one following Milos' backhand mistake to move 4-1 ahead.

Dominating in those moments, Novak placed a deep return that Milos failed to control for another break in game six and closed the set with a volley winner at 5-1 to become the favorite ahead of set number four. Raonic could not gain anything on the return, and his serve was in danger already in the third game when Novak earned two break opportunities.

The Canadian saved them and remained in touch before Djokovic grabbed a break at 4-4 that sent him in front. Serving for the victory in game ten, Novak sealed the deal with a service winner, keeping his abdominal injury under control and advancing into the quarter-final against Alexander Zverev.