By Shrivathsa Sridhar
MELBOURNE, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Novak
Djokovic steamrolled local hope Alex de Minaur 6-2 6-1 6-2 on Monday to ease into the quarter-finals of
the Australian Open with a statement win in his quest
for a 10th title at the Grand Slam that has only been threatened by a hamstring
Djokovic drew first blood after a breathless start to the match when De Minaur crashed a forehand into the net to allow the fourth
seed to go up 4-2 and the Serbian consolidated the break and struck again to claim the first set.
Having never lost at Melbourne Park since the fourth round
in 2018 the 35-year-old was in no mood to give De Minaur a sniff of
a chance on Rod Laver Arena, as he raced out of
the blocks and dominated his opponent with blistering shots on both wings.
Up two sets to love and with his heavily-strapped hamstring cooperating
after scares in the last two rounds, Djokovic moved in for the
kill by taking the first four games of the third and finished in style to gear up for fifth seed Andrey Rublev next.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Melbourne Editing by Christian Radnedge)