Novak Djokovic, chasing a record-extending ninth men’s singles title in Melbourne and third in a row, beats Canadian 14th seed Milos Raonic to reach Australian Open quarter-finals; defending champion to face Alexander Zverev on Tuesday Last Updated: 14/02/21 1:52pm Novak Djokovic is an eight-time champion at the Australian Open Defending champion Novak Djokovic allayed his pre-match fears over an abdominal injury to maintain his perfect record against Milos Raonic and reach the Australian Open quarter-finals. The world No 1 skipped practice on Saturday after suffering what he described as a muscle tear on his right side during his five-set victory against American Taylor Fritz on Friday.But Djokovic, chasing a record-extending ninth men's singles title in Melbourne and third in a row, beat the Canadian 14th seed 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-1 6-4 in their 12th meeting after a largely uninhibited performance on the Rod Laver Arena. The 33-year-old Serbian will meet Alexander Zverev in the last eight on Tuesday after the German overcame 23rd seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.In his post-match interview Djokovic said: "If it's any other tournament than a Grand Slam, I would withdraw from the event, that's for sure."But I want to give my best to try and recover and get on the court. I didn't know before I finished my warm-up whether I was going to play or not."Djokovic began the match moving freely and it was Raonic who saved break points at 3-3 and 4-4, before the top seed began grimacing and touching his abdominal muscles in discomfort.But the 17-time Grand Slam champion sealed the first set in a tiebreak after 56 minutes following a series of unforced errors from the Raonic racket.After both players traded opportunities to break early in the second set, Raonic underwent a medical timeout for an issue to his right ankle when trailing 1-2.Raonic resumed to promptly seal the first break of the match and remained resolute on serve to win just his fourth ever set against the tournament favourite.Djokovic overcame the setback to claim a double break lead as he raised his level to clinch the third set in just 29 minutes.Raonic then showed good resolve to stave off two break points early in the fourth set but Djokovic sealed the crucial break of serve after a backhand error from his opponent to lead 5-4 and he closed out victory on his first match point.Fifth seed Zverev, who reached the semi-finals last year, earlier struck 44 winners to dominate the 30-year-old Lajovic throughout the match on Margaret Court Arena.Djokovic has won his last four meetings with Zverev, who has lost just one set on his way to the last eight. More to follow...Don't forget to follow us on skysports.com/tennis, our Twitter account @skysportstennis & Sky Sports - on the go! Available to download now on - iPhone & iPad and Android .
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