Novak Djokovic overcame Taylor Fritz and abdominal pain on Friday to make it through to the Australian Open Round of 16 for the 14th time.
World No. 1 Djokovic was tested in the opening two sets, but suffered an injury in the third set and had to successfully manage both pain and a red-hot opponent to advance 7-6(1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2. After dropping the third and fourth sets without reaching deuce on the Fritz serve, Djokovic gained back-to-back breaks in the decider to earn his 78th victory at Melbourne Park (78-8) after three hours and 25 minutes.
“This is definitely one of the most special wins in my life,” said Djokovic, in an on-court interview. “It does not matter what round it is, against who it is. Under these kinds of circumstances, to pull this through is definitely something I will remember forever.”
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