Tennis: Novak Djokovic continues dominant Australian Open title defence, storms into quarter-finals with straight sets win

Novak Djokovic marked a rare daytime appearance at the Australian Open with a dominant victory over Adrian Mannarino as the 10-time champion flirted with a 'triple bagel' before sealing a 6-0 6-0 6-3 win to reach the quarter-finals.

Djokovic said earlier in the week he had been battling a viral affection and the world No.1 was coughing and appeared to be breathing heavily at times during the match.

The Serb's health issues had no impact on his play, however, and with the roof at Rod Laver Arena closed due to rain he powered to a 32nd straight match victory at the tournament and a 58th Grand Slam quarter-final, equalling the all-time record of Swiss maestro Roger Federer.

Tricky left-hander Mannarino can pose problems for the best of players by working the angles and the world number 19 pushed Djokovic hard in the opening game of the contest but still found himself down a set in only 33 minutes.

Djokovic let out a roar after breaking early in the second set, and delivered another body blow in the third game when he held serve after six deuces.

Two sets down and still not on the scoreboard, Mannarino finally won a game early in the third to draw level at 1-1, avoiding a rare "triple bagel" - 6-0 6-0 6-0 - and smiled as the crowd cheered.

Djokovic soon closed out victory, however, and said it had been one of his best performances.

"Yeah, after the first two sets, one of the best I've played in a while," he said. "I really wanted to lose that game in the third set because the tension was building up in the stadium.

"I just needed to get that one out of the way so I could refocus on what I need to do to close out the match. I played great from the first to the last point."

Elsewhere, women's champion Aryna Sabalenka reached the quarter-finals in dominant fashion when she swept past American Amanda Anisimova with a clinical 6-3, 6-2 victory on Margaret Court Arena.

The top remaining seed after Saturday's early exit for world No.1 Iga Swiatek, Sabalenka's biggest enemy has often been her own emotions, but she continued to keep them strictly under control to reach the last eight without dropping a set.

The Belarusian was not distracted by her relegation to the second showcourt for the first time in the tournament, or by a couple of rain showers that interrupted the contest and forced the closure of the stadium's roof.

Anisimova, ranked 442nd in the world after an eight-month break from the game, had held a 4-1 lead in career meetings with Sabalenka but found the 2024 version of the 26-year-old a much tougher nut to crack.

Aryna Sabalenka.
Aryna Sabalenka. Photo credit: Getty Images

In the opening set, the former French Open semi-finalist was unable to win a single point off Sabalenka's first serve, which on occasion was clocked at the 195 kph mark.

One break was enough for Sabalenka to win the opening set and another to start the second stanza killed off any hopes the American had of building pressure on her opponent.

Another break for 5-2 in the second set allowed Sabalenka to serve for the match and, although Anisimova finally managed to earn her first break point, the second seed was soon celebrating her spot in the last eight.

Sabalenka, who will next meet 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva or ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova, did not drop a set at last year's Australian Open until the final as she landed her maiden Grand Slam title.

Her opponent on Rod Laver Arena that day, Elena Rybakina, exited in the second round and Coco Gauff and Krejcikova are the only other top 10 seeds left in the field.