Adrian Mannarino, French number 1 and newcomer in the Top 20 at 35 (19th), scored only three games against world number 1, Novak Djokovic, in the round of 16 of the Australian Open, victorious 6 -0, 6-0, 6-3 in 1:44 Sunday, January 21. In the quarterfinals, Djokovic will face either world number 7 and incumbent finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas or world number 12 Taylor Fritz.

1:19 a.m.: That’s how long it took Mannarino to score his first play at Rod Laver Arena, the roof closed after a downpour that delayed the start of the match by a few minutes. Before that, the French left-hander conceded a stunning 6-0, 6-0 in 67 minutes, surely damaged physically by his efforts over the first three rounds completed in five sets. In total, he spent almost 12 hours on the courts at Melbourne Park before challenging Djokovic.

“A positive direction”

Even he preferred to laugh about it: on his chair, between the second and third innings, he ironically formed two zeros with his fingers around his eyes. “The first two sets were the best I’ve played in a while. In terms of the game and in terms of form, it’s going in a positive direction,” appreciates Djokovic, who said he was “a little woozy” after his first match.

The 36-year-old Serbian, in search of an unprecedented 25th Grand Slam title and an 11th in Melbourne, confirms his new form after a turbulent start to the fortnight. In the first two rounds, he had dropped a set each time. He seriously accelerated in the next two.

Mannarino eliminated, there remains one French player competing in the men’s draw: the young Arthur Cazaux (122nd), who will challenge world number 9, Hubert Hurkacz, in the round of 16 on Monday.