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Australian Open tennis: Djokovic, four Americans advance to quarterfinals

Novak Djokovic of Serbia totaled four aces and fired 26 winners in the fourth round of the 2023 Australian Open on Monday in Melbourne. Photo by Joel Carrett/EPA-EFE
1 of 6 | Novak Djokovic of Serbia totaled four aces and fired 26 winners in the fourth round of the 2023 Australian Open on Monday in Melbourne. Photo by Joel Carrett/EPA-EFE

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Serbian Novak Djokovic won another match in straight sets and will be joined by three American men in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Australian Open. Jessica Pegula will be the lone American woman in the quarterfinals.

Djokovic, the No. 4 seed, beat No. 22 Alex de Minaur of Australia 6-2, 6-,1, 6-2 on Monday in Melbourne. The nine-time Australian Open champion dropped just one set through his first four matches at Rod Laver Arena.

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"A week ago I didn't really think about the title," Djokovic told reporters. "I just thought about being in a good enough condition. The way I played [Monday] gives me reason to believe I can go all the way."

Djokovic fired four aces, 26 winners and converted 6 of 12 break points in the dominant, two-hour, six-minute victory. He will battle No. 5 Andrey Rublev of Russia in the quarterfinals.

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Djokovic is the only man in the field with a Grand Slam title.

Rublev edged No. 9 Holger Rune of Norway in a three-hour, 37-minute thriller. The Russian ripped 22 aces, 58 winners and converted 5 of 13 break points.

Americans Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton were the other men who advanced with Day 8 victories. Paul beat No. 24 Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. Shelton beat fellow American J.J. Wolf 6(5)-7, 6-2, 6(4)-7, 7-6(4), 6-2 in a match that lasted nearly four hours.

Shelton will meet Paul in the quarterfinals. The winner will face Djokovic or Rublev in the semifinals. No. 29 Sebastian Korda is the only other American remaining in the men's draw. He beat No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in the fourth round on Day 7 and will meet No. 18 Karen Khachanov of Russia in the quarterfinals. No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece will face Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic in the other quarterfinal match.

No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka was the highest women's seed to advance on Day 8. The Belarusian, a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist, beat No. 12 Belinda Bencic in straight sets.

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No. 30 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, Croatian Donna Vekic and Magda Linette of Poland were the other women who advanced on Day 8. Linette, who upset No. 4 Caroline Garcia of France, will meet Pliskova in the quarterfinals. Sabalenka will face Vekic for a spot in the semifinals.

Pegula, the No. 3 seed in the women's circuit, beat No. 30 Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic on Sunday in Melbourne. She will face No. 24 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus for a spot in the semifinals.

No. 22 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan upset No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland in the fourth round. She will meet No. 17 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in the quarterfinals. Ostapenko beat No. 7 Cori "Coco" Gauff of the United States in straight sets in their Round of 16 match.

Australian Open quarterfinal coverage will start at 9 p.m. EST Monday on ESPN2 and ESPN+. The women's final will air at 3:30 a.m. Saturday on ESPN and ESPN+. The men's final will air at the same time Sunday on the same platforms.

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