Novak Djokovic: 'Alex and I have no relationship after what he said about me'

Novak Djokovic lost only five games against Alex de Minaur at the Australian Open

by Jovica Ilic
Novak Djokovic: 'Alex and I have no relationship after what he said about me'

Novak Djokovic was extra motivated to deliver his A-game against Alex de Minaur at Rod Laver Arena on Monday. A nine-time Australian Open champion scored a dominant 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 triumph and left the Aussie miles behind. After the match, Novak spoke about his relationship with Alex, saying there's barely any after what the Aussie said about him a year ago!

De Minaur was not pleased with Djokovic's visa saga from Melbourne a year ago, saying it took the spotlight from the players who were actually competing. Novak remembered that and wanted to win as dominantly as possible against Alex in front of his fans.

Playing without left leg issues, Djokovic was the only player on the court, doing everything right and keeping constant pressure on the other side. De Minaur is far from that pace, struggling to impose his strokes and move the rival away from his comfort zone.

Novak took half of the return points and turned them into six breaks from 12 opportunities. The Serb fired 26 winners and 27 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and building the advantage in the shortest and more extended rallies.

Djokovic made a strong start and dropped five points in his games in the opener. He grabbed his first break at 3-2, stealing Alex's serve at love and delivering another return game at 5-2 to close the opener in 35 minutes. Novak pushed even harder on the return in the second set, breaking the rival twice to move 5-0 up and closer to a bagel.

The Serb rattled off nine straight games before the Aussie held in game six to end his downfall at least for a moment.

Novak Djokovic scored a dominant victory over Alex de Minaur at Rod Laver Arena.

Novak fired a backhand crosscourt winner in the next one for 6-2, 6-1 in swift 75 minutes!

Eager to seal the deal as soon as possible, Djokovic raced into a 4-0 lead in the third set against the powerless opponent. Alex avoided a bagel with a hold after deuce in game five and wished for at least some chances on the return.

Instead, Djokovic produced another comfortable hold to open a 5-1 gap and force the rival to serve to stay in the match. Novak created a match point in game seven with a volley winner, and Alex saved it with a powerful serve.

The Aussie fired another to bring the game home and reduce the deficit. Djokovic served for the victory at 5-2 and held to sail into the last eight and send a clear message to de Minaur. "I do not have any relationship with Alex.

I respect him as a rival and colleague, as I respect everyone. I have no problem contacting him and congratulating him. But I do not have any other relationship or communication with him. He showed what he thinks about me a year ago," Novak Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic Alex De Minaur Australian Open