Defending champion Novak Djokovic put an end to his pre-game fears of an abdominal injury to maintain his perfect record against Milos Raonic and advance to the Australian Open quarter-finals

The number 1 in the world skipped training on Saturday after sustaining a ruptured muscle on the right side in his victory over American Taylor Fritz on Friday

But Djokovic, who pursued a record-breaking ninth individual title for men and the third in a row in Melbourne, defeated the Canadian 14 Seeds 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-1 6-4 in its 12th Then meet a largely unrestrained performance in the Rod Laver Arena

The 33-year-old Serb will face Alexander Zverev in the round of 16 on Tuesday after the German finished 23rd Seed Dusan Lajovic from Serbia has defeated 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-3

In his post-game interview, Djokovic said: “If it was a tournament other than a Grand Slam, I would withdraw from the event, that’s for sure

“But I want to do my best to relax and get on the pitch. I didn’t know whether I was going to play or not until I finished my warm-up”

Djokovic started the match free and it was Raonic who saved the breakpoints at 3-3 and 4-4 before the top seed began to pucker and uncomfortably touch his abs

But the 17-time Grand Slam champion sealed the first set in a draw after 56 minutes after a series of casual mistakes by the Raonic bat

After both players swapped opportunities to break early in set two, Raonic took medical time out for a right ankle problem as he ran after 1-2

Raonic continued his career to seal the first break immediately and remained determined on serve to only win his fourth set against the tournament favorite

Djokovic overcame the setback and took a double lead as he raised his level to reach the third set in just 29 minutes

Raonic then showed a good determination to fend off two breakpoints at the beginning of the fourth set, but Djokovic sealed the decisive break after a backhand error by his opponent and led 5: 4 He finished the win on his first match point

Fifth seed Zverev, who reached the semi-finals last year, had previously beaten 44 winners to dominate 30-year-old Lajovic throughout the game at Margaret Court Arena

Djokovic has won his last four meetings with Zverev, who only lost one set on his way to the last eight

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Milos Raonic

World news – CA – Australian Open: Novak Djokovic beats Milos Raonic to continue his title defense and reach the quarter-finals