Djokovic mauls Mahut to reach last 16 | sports | Hindustan Times
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Djokovic mauls Mahut to reach last 16

sports Updated: Jan 21, 2012 10:59 IST
Novak Djokovic

Defending champion Novak Djokovic ruined Nicolas Mahut's birthday on Saturday, crushing his hapless opponent with the loss of just two games to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The Serbian top seed saw off the 81st-ranked Mahut 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 in just 74 minutes to set up a match on Monday against Canadian 23rd seed Milos Raonic or former finalist Lleyton Hewitt.

Mahut, who shares the record for the longest-ever tennis match of 11 hours and five minutes with John Isner at Wimbledon two years ago, was inconvenienced by a left knee injury on his 30th birthday.

"Credit to Nicolas. Obviously, he had some strapping around his knee and I felt sorry for him," Djokovic said.

"Evidently he was not moving well, he was not able to perform his best, but he didn't want to retire and he wanted to stay all the way so I wish him happy birthday."

Djokovic broke Mahut's serve eight times and made only eight unforced errors in the 20 games.

The world number one reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open for the sixth straight year and is bidding to become the fifth man to win three consecutive grand slams after winning Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

Djokovic leads Hewitt 4-1 and has yet to play Raonic in an official match.