Novak Djokovic hails Diego Schwartzman after their Melbourne clash


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Novak Djokovic hails Diego Schwartzman after their Melbourne clash

World no. 2 Novak Djokovic will play in his 11th Australian Open quarter-final and the 46th at Majors overall, beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and six minutes. After a little bit slower performance in the first round against Jan-Lennard Struff, Novak has been among the players to beat at Melbourne Park, toppling three rivals in straight sets to find himself in the last eight, putting the pressure on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Against Schwartzman, Djokovic couldn't win as many points behind the first serve as in the previous two rounds but still did enough behind the initial shot to lose serve only once, keeping the rival under constant pressure that Diego failed to endure, despite the fact he won the previous three matches in straight sets.

Djokovic had almost 40 winners and 31 unforced errors, delivering four breaks and staying fresh for the next rival on Tuesday. Serving well in the opening set, Novak grabbed a break in the eighth game and held with a service winner to take the first set 6-3, gathering momentum and kicking off set number two with a double break.

Diego pulled one break back in the fourth game with a backhand winner, with both serving well in the rest of the set that Djokovic claimed 6-4 with three winners in the tenth game. Returning at 2-2 in set number three, the seven-time champion clinched a break at love and repelled a break chance in the next game to confirm the advantage and move closer to the finish line.

Facing three break opportunities in the seventh game, Schwartzman worked hard to repel them all 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 plays against Milos Raonic.

Praising the Argentine, Novak said he had to be focused against such a strong opponent and to mix up his game with slices and net rushings, refusing to give time to one of the quickest players on the Tour and finding himself over the top in straight sets.

"I was focused today, it is the fourth round of a Grand Slam and Diego is a high-quality player who played fantastic tennis in the first three rounds, never losing a set. I knew if I gave him time, he could do a lot of damage from the back of the court, being one of the quickest players on the Tour.

That's why I tried to mix it up, bring him to the net a couple of times with a slice, which worked really well."