Australian Open 2013: Novak Djokovic Hasn't Missed a Beat in Melbourne

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 18, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 18:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia smiles after winning his third round match against Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic during day five of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic continued to blast through the 2013 Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne, defeating his next victim Radek Stepanek in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 7-5.

Going for his third consecutive Australian Open title, Djokovic has now defeated his first three opponents in Melbourne in straight sets. He is on a roll, and he knows it.

Djokovic notched 37 winners on Friday while committing just 19 unforced errors, per He won 86 percent of first-serve points, 66 percent of second-serve points and 68 percent of net points.

This came after recording 37 winners against Ryan Harrison in the second round while winning 85 percent of first serves, 87 percent of second serves and 67 percent of net points.

Djokovic looks ahead to the fourth round now, where he will face the winner between No. 15 seed Stanislas Wawrinka and No. 20 seed Sam Querrey.

Djokovic is 11-2 lifetime against Wawrinka and hasn't lost to the Swiss since 2006. He's 4-1 against Querrey, losing to the San Francisco native at the ATP World Tour Masters last year.

But you get the idea that Djokovic is playing so well that he's not going to face a great deal of resistance until he reaches the final, where he will most likely duel with either Andy Murray or Roger Federer.

If Djokovic wins in Melbourne this year, he'd become the first man in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian Open titles. It would be yet another superlative for a player who is in peak form and could have a year reminiscent of his breakout campaign in 2011.

With the ailing Rafael Nadal currently out of action and Federer aging, Murray may be the only man who can conceivably give Djokovic some trouble this season. 

Given what we've seen from the 25-year-old Serbian the past couple of years, that's a scary thought.


What are your thoughts?

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