Novak Djokovic mixes things up to beat Diego Schwartzman, ready for Milos Raonic’s ‘missiles’

Australian Open
Novak Djokovic celebration

Novak Djokovic produced the perfect game plan against Diego Schwartzman to book his place in the quarter-final of the Australian Open.

The defending champion mixed his tactics up to neutralise the speedy Schwartzman and in the end came away with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory in just over two hours.

The 16-time Grand Slam winner broke his opponent’s serve once in the first set, twice in the second and once in the third, although Swartzman did get one break back in the second set.

“It’s the fourth round of a Grand Slam and Diego is a great quality player,” Djokovic said.

“He has had a terrific tournament in first three rounds. I knew if gave him time he could do damage from the back of court. He’s one of the quickest players on the tour and I tried to mix it up, maybe bring him to the net a few times with the slice and it worked really well.”

Up next is 32nd seed Milos Raonic, who beat Marin Cilic in three sets to reach the quarter-final, sending down 35 aces in the process.

“Milos is one of the tallest, one of strongest on tour; he has one of the biggest serves,” Djokovic said.

“I’ve got to be ready for missiles coming from his side of the net. I remember it really well playing him four to five years ago in the quarterfinals. One of keys will be how well I’m returning and how confident I am in my service games.”

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