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Djokovic and Ferrer reach quarter-finals

Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer both progress to the Australian Open quarter-finals following routine victories.

Last updated: 19 Jan 2014 14:44
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Tomas Berdych in his trademark shirt trounces South Africa's Kevin Anderson in Melbourne [AFP]

Novak Djokovic offered his best impersonation of new coach Boris Becker both on and off the court in another flawless performance as he reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The three-time defending champion crushed Italy's 15th seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3 6-0 6-2 to book his place in the last eight without losing a set.

The Serb dropped just 10 points on his serve - Becker's speciality - in the entire match and Fognini was left to resort to joking around in the third set in an attempt to distract the second seed.

But the real fun came afterwards when the second-seeded Serb impersonated the service action, walk and mannerisms of Becker, as the German looked on from the stands.

"I saw his face reactions," Djokovic told reporters. "The first impression, when I did all the serves, he was happy and was applauding.

"It's actually the first time after a long time I've actually done Becker imitation. I don't know how I was. Was it OK? I'm going to gain few kilos and have to colour my hair in order to do the proper Becker imitation."

It's actually the first time after a long time I've actually done Becker imitation. I don't know how I was. Was it OK? I'm going to gain few kilos and have to colour my hair in order to do the proper Becker imitation

Novak Djokovic, Australian Open champion

After breaking once to win the first set, Djokovic rattled off 14 of the next 15 points on his way to a 4-0 lead in the second.

Djokovic, who next plays either eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka or number 17 Tommy Robredo, said the hardest challenge had been keeping a straight face while Fognini did his comedy act, at one stage throwing his racket over the net towards the second seed.

Tomas Berdych trounced Kevin Anderson 6-2 6-2 6-3 in a battle of big servers at the Australian Open on Sunday to set up a quarter-final with Spanish hustler David Ferrer.

Roared on by a noisy pocket of Czech supporters, the seventh seed sealed his fourth consecutive quarter-final at Melbourne Park in just under two hours but will face a far stiffer test against the tireless Ferrer, who delights in dragging opponents into attritional streetfights.

"Probably if I can compare right away all these four years, I think this year is going the best so far," the 28-year-old Czech, a Wimbledon finalist in 2010, said in his courtside interview after blasting 38 winners and breaking Anderson five times.

"There is still a lot of petrol left which I'm definitely going to need in the next match so I'm really happy for that. 

"Of course, it's always great to pass the first week, especially the first week here in Melbourne with all the crazy weather.

"It's nice to build up the confidence."

The Australian Open is the only grand slam where the tall Czech has not reached at least the semi-finals, but he has arguably his best chance this year with the likes of top seed Rafa Nadal, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and Roger Federer on the other side of the draw.

Ferrer, however, has long enjoyed a charmed life at Melbourne Park where he also reached the quarter-finals on Sunday for a fourth successive year by overhauling unseeded German Florian Mayer 6-7 (5) 7-5 6-2 6-1.

The draw has smiled favourably upon the super-fit 31-year-old, who tends to belt a succession of lower-ranked opponents before being sent crashing out when he faces any one of the 'Big Four'.

Annihilated in last year's semi-finals by triple defending champion Novak Djokovic, Ferrer actually beat Nadal in the 2011 quarter-finals but the 13-times grand slam champion was hampered by injury.

After being dragged into a tiebreak with unseeded Mayer, the Spaniard's superior fitness gradually told and he finished the match full of running, blazing winners from all angles.

619

Source:
Reuters
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