The seven-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is through to the last eight for the 11th time in Melbourne, beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to stay on the title course. The Serb couldn't play on the level from the previous two matches but it was more than enough to control the pace and the scoreboard from start to finish, getting broken only once and earning four breaks from eight chances to seal the deal in straight sets and move into the next round.
Talking with Todd Woodbridge after the encounter, Novak had the opportunity to tell the fans more about his son Stefan and his first tennis steps, with the five-year-old often hitting with his dad in Monte Carlo or all over the world when he travels with him.
Djokovic revealed Stefan already recognizes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, his dad's biggest rivals, alongside some other players, having a chance to share the court with them. Without pushing him into anything, Novak allows Stefan to find his own path and enjoy every moment of it, not rushing him into tennis yet.
Stefan's favorite shot is forehand, hitting the most balls from that wing with the simple reason that he was born with the backhand, which sounds perfectly reasonable, considering who his father is. "So far, it has been great in terms of a tennis relationship between my son and me; he is willing to play with me, Djokovic said.
"You know how it is, father and son, it is a little bit different; he is exposed to tennis a lot when he travels with me but also on the TV. He knows what is going on, knowing Roger and Rafa and a couple of the other guys. His favorite shot is forehand so far but I'm trying to get him to hit some backhands; he has been telling me he is born with a backhand, that's why.
I'm giving Stefan all the time and space that he needs in the world. I really want him and my daughter to express an honest desire to take the racket and the ball and just hit, on the court or against a wall. I would be more than happy and thrilled to support them in their tennis careers and journeys but it is still too early to talk about it - my wife says."
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