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Australian Open 2024 results: Djokovic eases into fourth round in 100th match in Melbourne

By Vincent Ashitey
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Novak Djokovic celebrated his 100th match at the Australian Open with a dominant victory over Tomas Martin Etcheverry to reach the fourth round.

Top seed Djokovic showed the best form of his title defence so far to beat the 30th seed 6-3 6-3 7-6 (7-2).

It keeps the 36-year-old on course for a 25th Grand Slam title, which would take him clear of the all-time record held by Australian Margaret Court.

"It was the best performance I've had during this tournament," Djokovic said.

He will next play France's 35-year-old Adrian Mannarino, who beat 21-year-old Ben Shelton in his third five-set win in a row.

Djokovic has won 92 of his 100 matches in Melbourne, and is now the first man to play 100 matches at all four Grand Slams, having played 108 matches at the French Open, 103 at Wimbledon and 101 at the US Open.

The 10-time champion seemed distracted at times in his first two matches at Melbourne Park, dropping sets against Dino Prizmic and then Alexei Popyrin. He was also involved in a confrontation with a fan against Popyrin.

But tasked with Argentine Etcheverry, who had impressively brushed aside Andy Murray and Gael Monfils in the previous rounds, the Serb was clinical in securing a 31st win in a row at the Australian Open.

He lost just four points on serve as he dictated from the baseline in the first set, breaking in the sixth game as Etcheverry pushed a backhand long under intense pressure.

A dismissive forehand return winner earned Djokovic an early break in the second set and he took his opponent's serve again to clinch the set. At one stage the crowd on Rod Laver Arena gasped as he produced a trademark, stunning backhand winner on the stretch.

Etcheverry played his best tennis in the third set and forced a tie-break but Djokovic took the first three points of the breaker to ease through, wrapping up victory without facing a break point in the match.

"Obviously I'm pleased with the way I played throughout the entire match, particularly the first two sets," Djokovic said.

"He stepped it up and raised his level of tennis in the third set. We went toe-to-toe in the tiebreaker."