Hello and welcome to Day 7 and coverage of Novak Djokovic’s fourth-round match between Milos Raonic.
Djokovic, the top seed and defending champion, came through an eventful five-setter against American Taylor Fritz in round three. The Serbian received treatment for an abdominal strain that hindered his movement in sets three and four.
Speaking after his victory, Djokovic said: “I honestly don’t know how I won this match. I’m very proud. At the same time, [I am] sad and worried, because it’s definitely something serious happening with my injury.”
There was a lot of talk and speculation on Saturday that Djokovic might pull out of the tournament after it was confirmed that he opted not to train on his day off. However, it was confirmed that Djokovic did practice today, at around 4:30pm Melbourne time, after receiving more treatment.
Read Simon Briggs’ take here.
Regardless of Djokovic’s condition, the challenge ahead for Raonic is huge! The Canadian 14th seed is 0-11 against Djokovic. The pair have met twice before at a Grand Slam and Djokovic has won in straight sets on both occasions. Not good omens.
Raonic needed four sets to get past Marton Fucsovics in the previous round and has played well en route to the second week at Melbourne Park. He leads the stats charts for aces (56) and total winners (28%) out of all the players left in the round of 16, a list that includes some big hitters like Andrey Rublev and Matteo Berrettini.
If Djokovic’s performance and subsequent injury concerns from Friday’s match are anything to go by, this is a great opportunity for Raonic to improve on his head-to-head against the world No1. Regardless, it will be tough task for Raonic.