Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and doubles partner Erin Routliffe are moving on to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open.
Ottawa’s Dabrowski and Routliffe, who represents New Zealand, defeated the Chinese duo of Jiang Xinyu and Hanyu Guo 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in Melbourne on Sunday.
Dabrowski and Routliffe are the reigning U.S. Open champions and fourth seed at the Australian Open. They will face either the team of Russia’s Alexandra Panova and Cristina Bucsa of Spain or American Taylor Townsend and Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia the in the next round.
WATCH | Dabrowski, Routliffe move on to quarters:
In men’s singles action, Novak Djokovic played his best two sets “in a while” in a 6-0, 6-0, 6-3 demolition of Adrian Mannarino to reach the quarterfinals at a major for the 58th time, equalling Roger Federer’s Grand Slam record.
It’s his 14th run to the last eight at Melbourne Park, where his conversion rate is incredible. Of the previous 13, he’s gone on to win 10 Australian titles.
“I thought maybe I would this year feel slightly more relaxed, for lack of better term, or maybe less tension, less stress on practice sessions, matches,” he said. “But it’s not. It is as it always was: very high intensity.”
The 36-year-old Djokovic is meticulous in his planning and preparation and has had unprecedented success at the Grand Slam events in the Open era.
Even with two more major titles than any man in history, he said he can’t relax and just enjoy it.
“You can see it even today. I was 6-Love, 2-Love up. It was a long game, and I was like going on with discussions, heated discussions, with my box,” he said. “The fire is still burning.
“I’m not playing anymore because I need more money or I need more points or whatever. I just want to play. I really enjoy the competition.”
In the quarterfinals he’ll be facing No. 12-ranked Taylor Fritz, who reached the last eight in Australia for the first time with a 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 win over 2023 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Djokovic was in his post-match news conference when Fritz and Tsitsipas were still on court. He was asked about both potential rivals, and said he was confident if he played to his level.
No surprise to Fritz, who is 0-8 against Djokovic.
“I mean, if I beat someone eight times in a row, I’d be pretty confident playing them, too, I can’t really fault him for that,” Fritz said, before adding that he was improving and was coming off his first win over at top 10 player at a Slam.
“I think that I have a lot more level to bring than I’ve previously brought against him. Hopefully I can play another match like today.”
For Djokovic, it was a rare day session. He said it’s no secret he prefers the 7 p.m. start but if the scoreline was any reflection of how he played in the daylight, he was content.
He dropped sets in his first two rounds and struggled with a virus but said his last two wins show “it’s going in a positive direction, health-wise, tennis-wise.”
No. 4 Jannik Sinner hasn’t dropped a set en route to the quarterfinals, with the Italian beating No. 15 Karen Khachanov on Sunday, nor have women’s defending champion Aryna Sabalenka and U.S. Open winner Coco Gauff.
Sabalenka will next play 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who dropped the first set but rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win that ended 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva’s bid to become the youngest Australian Open quarterfinalist since Martina Hingis in 1997.
No. 2-ranked Sabalenka, who won her first Slam title here last year, beat Amanada Anisimova 6-3, 6-2. Gauff, who picked up her first major at the U.S. Open in September, beat Magdalena Frech 6-1, 6-2.
Anisimova had won four of their previous five meetings but she didn’t have the answers this time.
“I’m super-happy with the level, happy to get this win, she’s a tough opponent,” Sabalenka said of overcoming that obstacle. As for the next? “I feel stronger than last year. So far I feel good. Hopefully I just can keep it up.”
Gauff, who next faces Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine, was the first woman through, needing just 63 minutes to see off Frech in a match played on Rod Laver Arena — in front of the Australian great.
“Luckily when I saw him come in I was already well up,” Gauff said. “I heard clapping and knew it wasn’t for us, it was only the first set. But thank you for coming, it’s an honor.”
Australian hope Alex de Minaur was playing No. 5 Andrey Rublev in the night match to determine who will face Sinner in the quarterfinals.
Sinner, who had two wins over Djokovic last November, advanced 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 over Khachanov.
Two big points from Khachanov — a between-the-legs winner as he chased a ball toward the baseline in the third set and a forehand to finish off a 33-shot rally in the second — delighted the crowd but didn’t unnerve Sinner, who hit 46 winners and saved nine of the 10 break points he faced.
“Potentially, if Alex wins, it’s going to be a different atmosphere,” Sinner said. “But this is part of the game. When I play in Italy, it’s also very tough for the other one!”