Alexander Zverev was impressive on Sunday as earned his 50th major championship match win for a place in the Australian Open quarter-finals for the second consecutive year.
The German struck 44 winners, including 15 aces, to beat No. 23 seed Lajovic 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3 in two hours and 21 minutes for a place in his fifth Grand Slam championship quarter-final.
“Today was a pretty good match, much colder than the other days,” said Zverev. “I’m very happy with a win and it could have gone either way early on. It wasn’t easy.”
Zverev will now prepare to face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the eight-time Australian Open champion, or 2016 semi-finalist and No. 14 seed Milos Raonic of Canada on Tuesday. Zverev trails Djokovic 2-5 in their ATP Head2Head series and is 2-2 against Raonic.
Lajovic started positively in his bid to beat Zverev for the first time in their third meeting. But groundstroke errors started to mount for Lajovic and Zverev recovered, breaking serve in the third and seventh games. Lajovic saved one set point at 3-5, with a superb backhand winner off a Zverev return.
Following an exchange of service breaks late in the second set, Zverev dominated in the tie-break and kept his Serbian opponent deep behind the baseline. Zverev clinched the second set with a mid-court forehand winner, then capitalised on four Lajovic errors at 1-2 in the third set. Zverev completed victory by striking his 15th ace.