|Novak Djokovic impersonates coach Boris Beckerís serve after the match against
Fabio Fognini, on Sunday. . (Getty Images)
Melbourne: Novak Djokovic offered his best impersonation of new coach Boris Becker both on and off the court in another flawless performance as he reached the quarter finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.
The three-time defending champion crushed Italy’s 15th seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 to book his place in the last eight without losing a set.
The Serb dropped just 10 points on his serve — Becker’s speciality — in the entire match and Fognini was left to resort to joking around in the third set in an attempt to distract the second seed.
But the real fun came afterwards when the second-seeded Serb impersonated the service action, walk and mannerisms of Becker, as the German looked on from the stands.
Third seed David Ferrer also advanced to the last eight and set up a meeting with Tomas Berdych and his stripy football shirt, while women’s fourth seed Li Na and Flavia Pennetta set up a last eight clash of 31-year-olds.
It was a fruitful day for Leander Paes, who sailed into the quarter finals of men’s doubles with Czech partner Radek Stepanek, besides making the second round of the mixed doubles with Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova.
Fifth seeds Paes and Stepanek hit 25 winners en route their 6-3, 6-2 win over unseeded pair of Yuki Bhambri and New Zealand’s Michael Venus in the pre-quarter final, which lasted 65 minutes.
In his mixed doubles first round match, Paes, partnering Hantuchova, got the better of Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia and Australia’s James Duckworth 7-5, 4-6, 10-7 in an hour and 26 minutes to set up a second round clash against Mahesh Bhupathi and Elena Vesnina.
Eighth seeded duo of Bhupathi and Vesnina of Russia crossed the first-round hurdle in their mixed doubles match with a 6-7 (3), 6-4, 10-5 win over Spanish pair of Arantxa Parra-Santonj and David Marrero in a 92-minute contest.
However, seventh seeded India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi endured a shocking 4-6, 6-7 (1) defeat against the 12th seeded duo of Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot to crash out of the men’s doubles event.
Djokovic gave his friend of 10 years Fognini absolutely nothing in their 93-minute encounter on Rod Laver Arena and still had plenty of energy left at the end to launch into an impersonation of new coach Boris Becker.
Djokovic next faces eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who hit 57 winners in a highly impressive display of aggressive tennis to overcome Spain’s Tommy Robredo 6-3, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) in the final match on Rod Laver Arena.
Berdych reached the last eight for the fourth year in a row at the only Grand Slam where he has never made the semi-finals without having given up a service game let alone a set.
The seventh seed’s 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 win over Kevin Anderson was his 10th in 10 matches against the South African and left him with “plenty of gas in the tank” for his next match against David Ferrer, who beat Florian Mayer 6-7 (7-5), 7-5, 6-2, 6-1.
Former French Open champion Li, who reached the final here last year and in 2011, allowed Ekaterina Makarova not so much as a sniff of an upset as she set up meeting with Pennetta by demolishing the Russian 6-2, 6-0.
Pennetta’s journey to her first Australian Open quarter final was a bit more complicated and she took 53 minutes longer to beat ninth seeded German Angelique Kerber 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.