- Novak Djokovic beat Adrian Mannarino in their clash on Saturday afternoon
- Mannarino received a standing ovation after putting digits on the scoreboard
- Djokovic was ‘glad to lose that game’ because of the pressure he was under
Adrian Mannarino received a standing ovation after putting digits on the scoreboard against Novak Djokovic – who admitted he was ‘glad’ to drop points during his victory over the Frenchman.
Djokovic secured a place in the Australian Open quarter-finals with a ruthless thrashing of French 20th seed Mannarino on Sunday.
Djokovic beat Mannarino 6-0 6-0 6-3 to re-affirm his status as the Australian Open favourite and equal Roger Federer’s record by reaching a 58th Grand Slam quarter-final.
Mannarino had two break points in the opening game of the match but Djokovic managed to hold and then break his opponent, running off with the rest of the set.
However, the fans at Melbourne Park couldn’t help but celebrate when Mannarino got some digits on the scoreboard – hilariously giving the Frenchman a standing ovation.
Adrian Mannarino received a standing ovation after putting digits on the scoreboard against Novak Djokovic – who admitted he was ‘glad to lose that point’
Djokovic secured a place in the Australian Open quarter-finals with a ruthless thrashing of French 20th seed Mannarino on Saturday afternoon
The Serbian world No.1 – who will face 12th seed Taylor Fritz next – said he ‘really wanted to lose that game because the tension was building up in the stadium.’
Djokovic was on track to become the first man since 1993 to win all three sets without dropping a game at a Grand Slam tournament.
Additionally, the 36-year-old star would have also been the first man to complete the feat at the Australian Open.
Djokovic said he could feel the pressure building and that he was delighted to have lost that particular game as it meant he could relax and focus on the job at hand.
Speaking after the game, the 10-time Australian Open winner said: ‘I really wanted to lose that game because the tension was building up in the stadium.
‘I needed to get that one out of the way so I could refocus on what I needed to do to close out the match. I played great from the first to the last point.’
Having started the tournament battling illness and surviving two long matches, Djokovic is now looking in ominous form, although he still became riled by the crowd at times.
Djokovic is now looking in ominous form after a sluggish start to the tournament
Next Djokovic faces 12th seed Taylor Fritz, who claimed a landmark victory over last year’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Fritz went into the match with a 0-11 record against top-10 players at grand slams, but came away with a 7-6 (3) 5-7 6-3 6-3 triumph to reach the quarter-finals in Melbourne for the first time.
He will need to achieve another first if he is to go further having lost all eight previous meetings with Djokovic, including a painful five-set defeat in the third round three years ago when the Serbian suffered an abdominal injury mid-match.
Cheered on by Melbourne’s large Greek population, Tsitsipas has enjoyed the best results of his career at the Australian Open but he failed to reach the semi-finals for the first time since.