Novak Djokovic got out of a jam in the first set against Grigor Dimitrov and fired his jets to escape 7-6(7), 6-3, 6-4 into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday.

The Serb who is nursing a hamstring injury of which little is actually known, stayed on course as he bids for an unprecedented 10th title at the Grand Slam in Melbourne. 

Djokovic and Dimitrov had not played for three years, with the Serb improving his record in the series to 10 wins from 11 meetings.

Djokovic needed five set points and a tiebreaker to secure the opening set, with Dimitrov unable to make an impression for the remainder of what turned into a one-way contest on the Laver showcourt.

“It was an incredible match – three sets over three hours,” Djokovic said. “I thought a double break in the third set would be enough, but I still  had to fight.

“Grigor was locked in from that moment. Up until the last shot I did not know who would prevail.”

Djokovic has now reached the Melbourne last 16 here for the 15th time, equalling Rafael Nadal in second place on the Open era list for most round of 16 appearances in the men’s singles here. 

The winner will next face Aussie Alex de Minaur, who defeated Benjamin Bonzi of France 7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-1. 

Main photo:- Australian Open Novak Djokovic (SRB) takes a tumble as he wins first set in third round victory by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

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