Djokovic struggles as Federer coasts

January 25, 2016 in Sports

Novak Djokovic-1Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, survived a scare against Gilles Simon to reach the last eight of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Five-time champion Djokovic made an uncharacteristic 100 unforced errors, but prevailed 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 after four hours and 32 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic, 28, is through to his 27th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final.

In complete contrast, four-time champion Roger Federer was in vintage form in beating Belgium’s David Goffin 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.

Djokovic will play Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals after the seventh seed beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, while third seed Federer plays Tomas Berdych. The Czech sixth seed came through a testing encounter against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

“Playing against a player like Gilles you can expect a lot of rallies,” said Djokovic, who is also through to his ninth successive Australian Open quarter-final.

“He is always making you play an extra shot. I made a lot of unforced errors today, but he was fighting, he was playing well, physically it was very demanding and I’m just happy to get through this one.”