Novak Djokovic’s 2012 has continued the way much of the previous year went, with the Serbian sweeping his way to the Australian Open quarter finals.
The World No.1 dropped just ten games in his opening three victories in Melbourne and was not expected to break a sweat against Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the last 16.
However, the former Grand Slam winner tested the reigning Australian Open champion and won the third set to give Djokovic his first four-setter of the tournament.
Speaking after the victory, Djokovic said: “He’s a great competitor and he kept on making me play an extra shot. I made a couple of unforced errors and he got back into the match. I have a lot of respect for him.
“For two sets and 3-0 I was playing really well and then I stopped moving but credit to him, he wasn’t making any unforced errors.”
Having to actually play a bit of tennis may not be the worst thing for Djokovic though and, after having to grind it out against Hewitt, he at least heads into this quarter final clash having been tested.
He is 1/9 to win this game against David Ferrer and it’s hard to see beyond a win for Djokovic who won three Grand Slam titles last season.
However, Ferrer has a very decent head-to-head record against Djokovic and has won five of their 11 encounters.
The clay court specialist was also victorious in their last meeting at the World Tour Finals at the end of November and is 11/2 to win this clash.
Djokovic was feeling the stresses and strains of a long season in which he only lost four matches prior to his Ferrer defeat though, and a refreshed Djokovic should have too much for the Spaniard.
Ferrer has every chance of nicking a set though and backing Djokovic to come through this one to win 3-1 at 9/4 may be worth consideration.