MELBOURNE (Reuters) – German sixth seed Alexander Zverev used his powerful serve to good effect to overcome 23rd seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-4 7-6(5) 6-3 on Sunday and reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.
Zverev needed five sets to beat Lajovic in each of their two previous meetings at the French Open, but the 23-year-old was in a more ruthless mood on Margaret Court Arena and sealed victory with his 15th ace.
The German got 72% of his first serves in and racked up 44 winners to dominate the 30-year-old Lajovic throughout the match to register his 50th win in majors.
Lajovic started strongly by breaking the German early to take a 2-0 lead in the opening set but Zverev broke back in the next game and did not look back.
“Today was a pretty good match, much colder than the other days,” Zverev said in his on-court interview.
“I’m very happy with a win and it could have gone either way early on. It wasn’t easy.”
Next up for Zverev will be either world number one Novak Djokovic, an eight-time winner at Melbourne Park, or Canadian 14th seed Milos Raonic.
“I’m in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, so I’ve gotta to be doing something well,” Zverev said.
“I’m looking forward to what’s ahead, the toughest matches I think are still ahead of me, with Novak and Raonic looking for a spot in the quarter-finals against me.
“I’m definitely looking forward to what’s ahead.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ed Osmond)