World no.1, Novak Djokovic, fought through the pain barrier to beat Milos Raonic in four sets-7-6 4-6 6-1 6-4, in almost three hours and qualify for his 14th quarter final at the 2021 Australian Open.
Djokovic, who got injured in his third-round encounter against Taylor Fritz, said after his victory over Raonic that he has not trained as much as he would have liked because he had to give precedence to recovery.
He went further to explain he would have retired from the event if it were not a Grand Slam whilst thanking his physio and the Australian Open medical team for helping him get ready to compete.
“The medical team told me that it is a gamble while I’m on the court. It could cause much more damage, but it could go in a good direction. I won’t know until I stop taking painkillers, they kind of hide what is really happening. I will take the time off afterwards.”
His next match is against world no.7, Alexander Zverev on Tuesday.
Also, world no. 2 Rafael Nadal is through to his 13th Australian Open quarter-final and he has achieved this without dropping a set. He beat Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 16 minutes. Nadal has won the Australian Open Grand Slam title just once in his career -in 2009, and he looks capable once again.
But world no.3, Dominic Thiem is out.
The 2020 Australian Open finalist lost out to Grigor Dimitrov in three straight sets of 4-6 4-6 0-6. The 2020 US Open champion afterwards said he was not a machine that would maintain the needed standard always.
“I don’t want to find any excuses. But the thing also is that I’m also not a machine. I mean, sometimes I would like to be, but there are really, really bad days. As soon as you’re not a hundred per cent there on the court on this level, then results like this come up, and that’s exactly what happened today.”
In the women’s draw, Serena Williams continued her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title with a hard-fought three-set win over in-form No. 7 seed Aryna Sabalenka.
This was despite an ankle injury early in the second set and she prevailed 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Her mission does not get any easier as her next opponent is world no.2, Simona Halep. Halep also needed three sets to get her revenge over French Open conqueror, Iga Swiatek, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
There was another three-setter between Naomi Osaka and Garbine Muguruza. Osaka saved two match points in the third set and she next faces the unseeded 35-year-old Taiwanese, Hsieh Su-wei.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...