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Djokovic to test recuperative powers
Guy Hand
07:23 AEST Tue Jan 22 2013

Just what keeping nightclub hours on Rod Laver Arena has done to Novak Djokovic's Australian Open defence will become apparent on Tuesday night.

Djokovic comes off a five-hour-plus marathon against Stanislas Wawrinka, which finished in the early hours of Monday morning, into his quarter-final against fifth seed Tomas Berdych.

Djokovic is no stranger to late nights at Melbourne Park.

His near five-hour semi-final to beat Andy Murray last year was followed by an almost six-hour final against Rafael Nadal which stretched the boundaries of men's tennis.

The indefatigable Djokovic won both.

And he believes that recent experience shows he is physically capable of recovering in order to move closer to a third successive Open title.

"There is no doubt I'm not very fresh," Djokovic said.

"It's normal to expect after five hours of play. But still I've been in those situations before.

"Most recently, 12 months ago when I won against Murray in the semis after five hours, and then played against Rafa for almost six hours.

"I know I can recover. I know I have it in me.

"I wasn't too much worried about the physical part (last year).

"I was ready for it. I was ready to go the distance, and I've done so."

Djokovic has a dominant record against Czech star Berdych, winning 11 of their 12 matches.

Tuesday's other men's quarter-final is an all-Spanish affair, featuring fourth seed David Ferrer and 10th seed Nicolas Almagro.

In the women's quarter-finals, China's Li Na takes on in-form Pole Agnieszka Radwanska in the opening match on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

Russian second seed Maria Sharapova, who has dropped just five games in her four matches at Melbourne Park so far, takes on countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova, the 19th seed.


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