Novak Djokovic, 31, recovered from a lapse in concentration in the third set to beat Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 and move into the fourth round, keeping his bid for a record seventh Australian Open crown intact.
Djokovic had led two sets to love and was 4-1 up in the third set, before Shapovalov, out of nowhere, found the inspiration that had eouded him and began to fight back. The Canadian would win 5 games in a row to surprisingly clinch the set and send the match into a fourth set.
There, Djokovic reasserted control and dismantled the teenager to wrap up victory and set up a fourth round clash with 15th seed, Daniil Medvedev.
“I just tried to stay in the moment and weather the storm,” Djokovic said of unexpectedly dropping the third set.
“Denis played well toward the end of the third, I made some unforced errors … he showed some quality and showed why he’s going to be one we’ll be seeing in the future.”
Victory ensured the Serb will retain the world number one ranking until at least after the Australian Open.
On Monday, Djokovic will take on the 22-year-old Medevedev, who defeated 21st seed David Goffin 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-3 to reach the second week without dropping a set.
Elsewhere, Kei Nishikori advanced to the fourth round with a 7-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Portugal’s João Sousa, while Milos Raonic defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 to also make progress.