Dubai: Novak Djokovic’s aura of invincibility at Rod Laver Area wavered below the strain of Frances Tiafoe however the Serbian rose to the problem to assert a galvanising 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 win and attain the third spherical of the Australian Open.
The defending champion has not often been examined so early at his favorite Grand Slam however he had his arms full towards American Tiafoe, whose glowing tennis revived recollections of his exhilarating run to the 2019 quarter-finals.
“I used to be impressed with the way in which he was competing. He served very properly, he fought laborious,” mentioned Djokovic. “I believed we each performed on a reasonably excessive stage. I imply, he pushed me to the very restrict.
“Simply general difficult situations,” he added. “It was highly regarded, we had lengthy exchanges. It was a troublesome match, and I am actually glad to beat such a battle.”
He’ll play one other American, Taylor Fritz, within the third spherical after he battled previous Reilly Opelka in 5 units.
Tiafoe went toe-to-toe with the highest seed however it all fell aside within the seventh sport of the ultimate set when the American grew annoyed by the service clock and was damaged after a foul-mouthed tirade.
Tiafoe additionally earned a code violation for an audible obscenity earlier than bowing out with a double fault on match level.