Djokovic brushes aside Fognini
Defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic reached his 19th straight Grand Slam quarter-final following a 6-3 6-0 6-2 win over Italy's Fabio Fognini.
World No 1 Rafael Nadal served notice of his intent on Friday night by thrashing Gael Monfils, an opponent who had been expected to give him some trouble.
This was a very similar scenario, with 15th seed Fognini a flashy and talented player in the best form of his career, but it took Djokovic only an hour and 33 minutes to progress.
The pair are good friends, but there was nothing friendly about Djokovic's display as he racked up a 25th straight win at Melbourne Park and 28th overall since the US Open final.
Fognini was so frustrated after dropping his serve to trail 5-2 in the third set that he lobbed his racket in jest over the net towards Djokovic.
Moments later the world No 2 wrapped up victory with an ace and then entertained the Rod Laver Arena crowd by doing an impression of his coach Boris Becker serving.
"At the end of the day we are both professionals and once we step on the court we want to win the match regardless who is across the net," Djokovic said.
"Of course it is a bit different feeling when your opponent is a long-time friend and obviously I wanted to laugh at his jokes but on the other hand I didn't want to lose any concentration and it was very important to stay focused until the end."
Djokovic, who is looking to become just the second man behind Roy Emerson to win four consecutive Australian Open titles, will next meet Stanislas Wawrinka, the man he beat in an epic five-set battle in the fourth round 12 months ago.
The Swiss sealed his place in the last eight with a 6-3 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/5) triumph over Tommy Robredo after two hours and 23 minutes on court in a night match on Rod Laver Arena.
Wawrinka sent down 14 aces but did not have it all his own way against Robredo, though he still managed to get the job done in straight sets.
"I think the serve was really good today," the eighth seed said afterwards. "I feel really good and I haven't had too many matches before today.