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Djokovic sends the last Aussie in a disturbing ‘horror movie’


It might be called Rod Laver Arena, but the main court at Melbourne Park is actually owned by Novak Djokovic.

The 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 defeat of the nine-time Australian Open champion handed to a totally outclassed Alex de Minaur on Monday night is not the first tennis lesson he has given in the Rocket Rod’s house, and you would like it. I’m not putting counterfeit money on it because it’s the last of the week.

The dominance was so complete, so brutal the 35-year-old’s form and he seemed so completely over the hamstring issue that plagued him during week one at Melbourne Park, that he even dropped a set en route towards a 22nd Grand Slam. headline Sunday night now seems inconceivable.

De Minaur’s hard and endless base game gave hope for a memorable upset pre-game, but while the Aussie is as resilient as the day is long, his lack of attacking weaponry has made him a striking partner glorified for Djokovic. publicly humiliate.

From 2-2 in the first set, the Serbian maestro would win 16 of the last 19 games, not even seem to face a break point and let de Minaur struggle to stay in the rallies.

Djokovic’s performance was enough to leave tennis legends Jim Courier and Todd Woodbridge in awe – and according to Courier, send a chill to the remaining 12 players in contention for the title.

“I’ll tell you what: If I was still in this tournament and I was at home right now, and I had dinner, came back – ‘Let’s see what’s on TV’ – I would want to transform this horror movie closed,” Courier said of commentary duties for Nine.

“I wouldn’t want to see that. If I thought I might have a chance to play against Novak, that’s not what you want to go to bed thinking about.

Novak Djokovic. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Facing one of the greatest returners of all time, if not the greatest, de Minaur would have expected a battle of attrition: What he wouldn’t have anticipated was the offensive masterclass that the fourth seeded staged to dazzle the pockets of support he was still receiving from a pro-Australian crowd.

In his third-round clash with Grigor Dimitrov, Djokovic had made an unusual effort to shorten the points and ease the pressure on his hamstrings, taking higher risks and aiming for the winners with much higher frequency than normal.

With his injury barely noticeable as the game went on, he simply picked up where he left off against the Bulgarian, reducing 26 winners to just 9 as de Minaur was simply dismantled.

Perhaps the Australian’s only saving grace was saving a match point in the third set to force Djokovic to serve it – even if a double break then only delayed the inevitable .

With form like this, plus the sizable clout of nine previous Australian Open titles and 25 straight Melbourne Park wins under his belt, Djokovic is now the clear favorite to reach 10 in six days – if indeed it was not already. .

Since an upset fourth-round loss to Hyeon Chung five years and a day ago, his only loss came at the hands of the Australian government, when he controversially rescinded permission to come to the country a while ago. 12 months and kicked him out.

Djokovic’s quarter-final opponent, Russia’s Andrey Rublev, has only won 10 matches against him in two previous encounters on hard courts, both in the ATP Year-End Finals in 2021 and 2022. Unranked American pair Tommy Shelton and Tommy Paul will vie for the “honour” of facing him in what will be the winner’s first semi-final.

The only former Grand Slam champion remaining in the men’s draw, the Australian Open is now in a familiar position of being Novak Djokovic’s loser.

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