Nole is through to R3 after four-set match.

World no.1 Novak Djokovic battled past Alexei Popyrin and Melbourne crowd to reach Australian Open third round.

Djokovic recorded a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory in three hours and 11 minutes.

The Serbian star was convincing in the first set but he lost composure in the second. However, after saving four set points in the third set, a great third set tiebreak win saw him regain momentum. A break in the sixth game of the fourth set was enough for the top seed to wrap up the win.

“He had quite an easy forehand and he missed it,” Nole said. “I didn’t do anything special, I was lucky. He was a better player for a set-and-a-half. The momentum shifted in the tiebreak. I don’t think I played at the highest level, credit to him for tactically coming out with the right game plan. I haven’t been playing my best, still trying to find the form. Particularly in the early rounds you face player who have nothing to lose, my first and second round opponents were great quality players.”

Match statistics: aces (11-17), double faults (0-4), winners (31-52), unforced errors (32-58), total points won (124-106).

10-time champion Djokovic will take on no.30 seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry (ATP H2H record 2-0) on Friday, after the Argentine defeated Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Photo: AP

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