Australian Open 2023: Andy Murray results, falls in third round at Australian Open

Novak Djokovic keeps having problems with his hamstring, but he just keeps winning. Impressive too. Keep your Monday night free when Alex de Minaur takes on the champion.

If Novak Djokovic beats the last remaining Australian hero from the Australian Open, he can thank his senior friends for helping him.

Twelve months after being deported from Australia for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid, Djokovic is getting the full red carpet treatment this time.

On Monday he plays Australia’s Alex de Minaur in the fourth round after Djokovic defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 6-3 6-4.

And the odds are already heavily in the Serb’s favor thanks to his powerful pals.

While the location and time of the game have not yet been announced, it is certain that it will take place at night at Rod Laver Arena – which is Djokovic’s favorite spot.

And what Djokovic wants, Djokovic gets.

“I love the conditions here, especially the night sessions,” said Djokovic.

“For me, for my tennis style, it played really well.

“And I think the more you win on the pitch, the more confident you feel the next time you get on the pitch.”

Despite only being fourth, the nine-time Australian Open champion is the only player in the tournament – male or female – to have received the prime time slot for each of the three rounds played so far.

Not only that, but Tennis Australia even arranged a play for him at Rod Laver Arena against Nick Kyrgios last week.

And just before his match against Dimitrov, Djokovic held a private behind-closed-doors training session on Center Court – while everyone else has to be content to warm up on Melbourne Park’s outdoor courts.

But the added benefits don’t stop there.

Aussie Open boss Craig Tiley has even ordered security to eject any spectators who boo Djokovic during one of his matches.

When Djokovic complained to the referee about four fans – dressed in Where’s Wally costumes – it came as no surprise when they were promptly booted out of the stadium.

With Djokovic now playing an Australian in the next round, the loyalty of the organizers and security could be put to the ultimate test.

De Minaur is hugely popular with Australian tennis fans, so the whole stadium – and the country – will likely be behind him when he takes on the moody Djokovic.

It has been almost half a century since a local won the tournament and with memories still fresh of Ash Barty’s inspirational win last year, it would be unAustralian for anyone to be banned for cheering on the demon over the Joker.

“Obviously, de Minaur is one of the fastest guys on the tour, if not the fastest,” Djokivic said.

“He’s got Lleyton Hewitt in his corner, a multiple Grand Slam winner, that’s a great team. I don’t know how many of you will be on my side…but I look forward to it.”

Originally published as Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic reaches fourth round after defeating Grigor Dimitrov Australian Open 2023: Andy Murray results, falls in third round at Australian Open

Ryan Sederquist

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