Djokovic, Williams headed to Australian Open quarters


Melbourne: It was all thrills and spills on Day 8 of the Australian Open on Monday, with some of the big names in tennis making it through to the quarterfinal stage of the tournament, while others smashed their rackets in frustration.

World number one Novak Djokovic had no such problems however, turning in a stellar performance against Daniil Medvedev while Serena Williams edged past world number one Simona Halep, reports Xinhua news agency.

Although the crafty Russian youngster did manage to take a set off the Serbian, Djokovic came back strongly in the third and fourth set to take the contest 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-3.

In a significant upset, Milos Raonic put on a masterful display against German fourth seed Alexander Zverev, beating him in straight sets 6-1, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5).

While it was an impressive performance from the Canadian, it’s likely that most of the headlines will focus on Zverev’s moment of madness when he smashed his racket at the end of the second set.

Frenchman Lucas Pouille also had a solid win over 11th seed Borna Coric, taking the battle in four sets 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (7-2).

Japanese star Kei Nishikori came back from two sets down to win a thrilling five-set marathon against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (8-10), 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 7-6 (10-8).

Seemingly following the evening’s strange trend, the match was also marred by a bag-throwing tantrum by Busta at the end of the contest that received jeers from the Melbourne crowd.

Across the women’s bracket, it was also a big day for Japanese talent with last year’s US Open winner Naomi Osaka battling back from one set down against Latvian hitter Anastasija Sevastova, to eventually close out the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

In what was perhaps the most anticipated match-up of the tournament so far, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams extended her dream run at this year’s Australian Open by taking out world number one Simona Halep in a back-and-forth three-set war 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

In the day’s other fourth round bouts, Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova made it look easy against Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, winning in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 whike Ukrainian sixth seed Elina Svitolina was too strong for talented American competitor Madison Keys, taking the match 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.