DOHA, Jan 1 ― World number one Novak Djokovic said yesterday that tennis' big four ― himself, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray ― were still the favourites to win Grand Slam titles in 2019.
In Doha, his main challenge is likely to come from Thiem and Karen Khachanov who ended Djokovic's 22-match winning streak in November.
As it turned out, the ball had landed just inside the baseline, and Fucsovics, who had a swing at the ball half-heartedly presuming it was out, lost his challenge and the set.
"I think if we are healthy and playing well, the four guys still have probably the best chance to always win slams", he said.
'I was kind of in a corner and I had to find my way and fight my way through'. Djokovic, who was broken in the ninth game of the opening set by the 26-year-old world No.36, held his nerve at the end of the second set.
A smiling Djokovic roused the crowd following that point, yet Fucsovics kept his cool to break at the third time of asking before serving out the set to move in front.
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Two break points went begging for the underdog at 4-4, the second in stunning fashion as Djokovic somehow got out of trouble courtesy of a superb lob that was followed by a forehand victor.
Wawrinka and Djokovic could meet at the semi-final stage in Doha. Unseeded Jeremy Chardy of France defeated eighth-seed Nick Kyrgios of Australia 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3 to make the quarters.
Another player returning from injury, Belgium's David Goffin, the sixth seed, was beaten by Lithuanian qualifier Ricardis Berankis, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).
Throughout the tournament, the Grand Slams champion secured thirteen victories and a single defeat.
Wawrinka plays Spain's Roberto Batista Agut in the quarterfinals.
Italy's Marco Cecchinato received a walkover after his opponent Guido Pella of Argentina was forced to pull out.