Australian Open 2020: Djokovic growing in confidence as record-extending eighth title looms
- 26 Jan 2020
Novak Djokovic said he is growing in confidence after the Australian Open champion dominated en route to the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Djokovic is bidding to win a record-extending eighth Norman Brooks Challenge Cup in Melbourne and the 16-time grand slam champion remains on track to add to his collection following a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over 14th seed Diego Schwartzman.
It was Djokovic’s third consecutive straight-sets win at Melbourne Park, where the Serbian second seed reached his 11th Australian Open quarter-final.
After hitting 38 winners in just over two hours on Rod Laver Arena, Djokovic told reporters: “It feels great. I had a fantastic couple of matches in a row, centre court, last two rounds. I felt more confident going through the ball, hitting serves really well.
“Today was a good test because Diego was in form, he hasn’t dropped a set in three rounds. Obviously he can be a very dangerous opponent from the baseline if you give him time. I knew that. I stepped out on the court with a clear game plan what I need to do.
“I think I kept things pretty much in control in all three sets. Maybe could have finished the match a bit earlier. But it was a very solid performance.”
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Next up for Djokovic is 32nd seed and former world number three Milos Raonic, who beat Marin Cilic in three sets on Sunday.
Djokovic has dominated Raonic, boasting a flawless 9-0 head-to-head record, which includes a quarter-final victory at the 2015 Australian Open.
Asked to compare Raonic with fellow big servers John Isner and Karlovic, Djokovic replied: “I feel like Raonic moves better than Isner and Karlovic. I mean, he’s not as tall as these two guys. They’re 6’10” or something, two metres 10. They’re the tallest players to ever play tennis.
“Obviously it’s a huge advantage when you hit serves from that height. You can hit any angle, anything you really want. That puts a lot of pressure on your opponent. But that also has some disadvantages in terms of movement. If the returner gets the ball back in play, then I think Raonic is better than these two guys.
“But I feel like maybe you could read his serve better than Isner and Karlovic. I don’t want to say it’s slightly slower, but just a little bit of a different toss, different technique. You can probably get some looks at second serves or breakpoints and stuff like this maybe a bit more than the other two guys. It’s such a minor difference that you don’t really notice it so much. But on the court it makes a big difference.”