Champion Novak Djokovic put on an impeccable serving display against Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka to canter to a 6-3 6-2 6-2 win in the third round of the Australian Open on Friday, staying on course for a record-extending eighth title at Melbourne Park.
The Serb, who defeated another Japanese in Tatsuma Ito in his previous round, smashed 17 aces, won 93% points on his first serve and faced just a single breakpoint against the hapless Nishioka in the match that lasted only an hour and 25 minutes.
Considered widely as the best returner of first serves and baseline player among contemporaries, Friday’s match at the Rod Laver Arena showed that Djokovic was also right up there with the best servers in the game.
In astonishing statistics, the second seed lost just a single point on serve in the first two sets and eight overall against the 24-year-old Nishioka.
The victory on Friday was the 21st straight win for Djokovic at Grand Slams against left-handed players since the 32-year-old Serb lost to Nadal in the 2014 Roland Garros final.
Djokovic will next meet Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who beat Serb Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-3 7-6(7) earlier on Friday, an opponent the world number two termed as “one of the quickest players on Tour”.