De Minaur isn’t a player his opponents take lightly; the Australian is ranked 24th in the world, is a former US Open quarter-finalist and defeated Rafael Nadal in the first week of this year.
But Djokovic executed a breathtaking domination in the fourth round, carving out a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory in two hours and six minutes.
LIVE UPDATES: Australian Open 2023 day eight highlights
What’s more is the Serbian superstar was not troubled by his heavily strapped left hamstring in the Rod Laver Arena clash, which he indicated as he spoke to Jim Courier on the court.
“I didn’t feel anything today, so today was great,” Djokovic said, drawing cheers from the crowd.
“I think my medical team, my physio … I was feeling very good in the first match, second match not so great, so I know that things can change really quickly.
“I don’t take anything for granted.
“I’m really pleased with the way I’ve played, the way I moved today, the way I hit the ball.
“So let’s keep it going.”
Courier had grimaced at a hypothetical as Djokovic ripped an unreturnable two-handed backhand during the third set.
Demon bombs long rally
“I’ll tell you what: if I was still in this tournament and I happened to be home right now, and I had dinner, came back … ‘Let’s see what’s going on on the TV’ … I would want to turn this horror movie off,” Courier said on Nine’s coverage.
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“I would not want to see this. If I thought I might have a chance to play Novak, this is not what you want to go to bed thinking about.
“Sometimes you’re just at the mercy,” Courier had said during the second set.
Djokovic equalled Andre Agassi’s record 25-match Australian Open win streak to set up a quarter-final showdown against Andrey Rublev, who’d edged Holger Rune in a gripping five-set encounter earlier in the evening.
Rublev fought off two match points en route to beating Rune 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (9) in three hours and 37 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.
Novak brushes aside injury question
“He’s an established top-five, top-10 player already for a few years,” Djokovic said.
“Incredible firepower, especially from the serve and forehand corner.
“Just very explosive player.
“A little bit like de Minaur, so hopefully the result will be the same.”
Djokovic eliminated Roberto Carballes Baena, Enzo Couacaud, Grigor Dimitrov and de Minaur on his path to the quarter-finals.
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