"Being the only guy remaining in the tournament that has won a Grand Slam, of course flatters me," Novak Djokovic said.
By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, January 23, 2023
Seeing is believing.
Surveying the improving state of his hamstring has Novak Djokovic trusting he can take a record-extending 10th Australian Open title next weekend.
The fourth-seeded Serbian demolished Aussie Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 storming into his 13th Australian Open quarterfinal.
It was Djokovic's best tennis of the tournament and his healthiest match of this fortnight.
The state of his increasingly healthy hamstring helped Djokovic score his 25th consecutive AO win and 38th straight win on Australian soil.
"A week ago I didn't really think about the title, I just thought about being in a good enough condition to play the next match until tonight," Djokovic told the media in Melbourne. "Tonight, the way I played, the way I felt, gives me reason now to believe that I can go all the way.
"I mean, I always believe I can go all the way in terms of my tennis. But the way my leg felt before tonight wasn't giving me too many hopes, so to say, for the entire tournament, to go all the way through. Tonight I feel that, so I feel positive about it."
Experience matters in the money stages of majors. Djokovic will face fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals. The winner will face a maiden major semifinalist either Tommy Paul or former NCAA champion Ben Shelton.
"Being the only guy remaining in the tournament that has won a Grand Slam, of course flatters me but I don't think it's going to make too big of a difference, to be honest," Djokovic said. "Maybe it will to some extent, I mean, for me, but maybe not for the other guys."
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