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Australian Open Q/finals: Federer, Djokovic Through As Serena Renew Rivalry With Sharapova

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Defending champion Novak Djokovic and world number three Roger Federer are through to the last eight of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Djokovic endured a very resilient Gilles Simon, to advance to his 27th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final, beating him 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 4-6 6-3 in just over four hours and 32 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

“Playing against a player like Gilles you can expect a lot of rallies, said Djokovic.

“He is always making you play an extra shot. I made a lot of unforced errors today but he was fighting, he was playing well, physically it was very demanding and I’m just happy to get through this one.”

Four time champion, Roger Federer swept past Belgium’s David Goffin 6-2 6-1 6-4 to advance.

The 34-year old defeated 15th seed Goffin in an hour and 28 minutes, finishing with 39 winners and losing only 15 points on serve, on Rod Laver Arena.

Speaking after the game, the Swiss said: “I’m pleased with how I played.

“David normally gives me a hard time in practice so I was surprised at how well I went.”

In the women category, defending champion Serena Williams will face Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open quarter-finals after both won their last-16 matches on Sunday.

The women’s world number one, who is chasing her 22nd Grand Slam title and seventh in Melbourne cruised past Margarita Gasparyan 6-2 6-1 in 55 minutes, while 2008 champion, Sharapova defeated Bencic 7-5 7-5.

Williams has won 17 straight matches against Sharapova, including last year’s Australian Open final.

The American has not lost to Sharapova since the 2004 Tour Championships in Los Angeles, she won their last encounter 6-2 6-4 in the 2015 Wimbledon semi-finals.

Meanwhile, world number 46, Johanna Konta came from behind to beat Ekaterina Makarova 4-6 6-4 8-6 to become the first British woman to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam singles tournament since 1983.

“Mentally, emotionally, physically, I left it all out here on court, Konta said after the game.

“I tried to hang in there and just run after every ball and keep fighting. That’s all I can do and fortunately I was able to capitalise on some opportunities and close out in the end.”

The British number one will now face either Madison Keys, the American 15th seed, or Chinese qualifier Shuai Zhang for a place in the semi-finals.