NOVAK DJOKOVIC is battling injury as he looks to triumph over America’s Taylor Fritz in the Australian Open.
The Serb is two sets to one up but a break down and carrying an injury against the American.
Earlier in the day Dominic Thiem came from two sets down to beat Nick Kyrgios 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in an epic.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-6 4-6 FRITZ
Game and fourth set.
Fritz takes us all the way on Rod Laver Arena.
It’s coming up to midnight local time and there are no fans here.
Is this how Djokovic’s defence ends?
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-6 4-5* FRITZ
Djokovic holds again, and at least asks the question of Fritz to serve it out.
A few big minutes for the American coming up here.
NINTCHDBPICT000635871087Credit: AFP or licensors
NINTCHDBPICT000635871571Credit: AP:Associated Press
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-6 *3-5 FRITZ
Another hold for Fritz to take him one game away from levelling this up.
Djokovic looks spent at the moment.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-6 3-4* FRITZ
Djokovic holds to 15 with a very good ace out wide.
That break in play might have done him a bit of good to regroup here.
Wonder if he’ll save some energy for a fifth set.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-6 *2-4 FRITZ
And hold the American does, he two games away from forcing a deciding set.
HERE WE GO AGAIN
Right, after a 10-minute delay, we’re ready to go again.
Fritz serving and up 3-2 in the fourth in front of an empty Rod Laver Arena.
Play has been stopped until all spectators leave.
This is surreal.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-6 2-3* FRITZ
Djokovic holds somehow, and it’s just a single break of serve.
The players sit down to change ends and this might be all she wrote for the crowds.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-6 *1-3 FRITZ
Easy once again for Fritz. Djokovic looks beaten.
It’s 11.29pm also local time, what’s going to happen with the crowd?
What a strange evening of tennis.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-6 *1-1 FRITZ
Pressure straight back on the world No 1 as Fritz holds comfortably again.
Djokovic struggling to even reach out to some of these shots.
Not looking good for the reigning champ.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-6 1-0* FRITZ
A fine hold from Djokovic having saved break point to get there.
He let out a huge roar of frustration aimed towards his corner. Not sure if that was anything they did or just general angst at the situation.
But the world No 1 is battling on.
Another announcement on the public address system to the crowd to start making their way home.
There’s not many inside Rod Laver Arena still, but the ones that are here are standing firm and booing the calls.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-5* FRITZ
Djokovic winds up an in to out forehand, but he puts it wide.
A massive grimace and Fritz BREAKS.
Djokovic looks to the ground and is in clear pain. Fritz serving for the third set.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 *3-4 FRITZ
Fritz’s service games seem to be getting more and more simple.
Djokovic seems to be pinning hopes on serving well and getting through this in a tie break.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 3-3* FRITZ
Good serving from Djokovic, just what he needed.
He holds to 15 and then has another stretch at the back of the court.
There’s a grimace as well as he lines up to receive serve.
DJOKOVIC 7-6 6-4 *2-3 FRITZ
Ace after ace from Fritz in that game and he leads 3-2 now.
Djokovic has a real look of worry on his face. He’s receiving more treatment on what appears to be a pulled muscle in his side.
He’s not chasing down like we’re used to seeing him do.
Thiem is through to take on Dimitrov on Sunday in a massive match.
I’ll be turning my attention to Djokovic in just a sec, he’s two sets up but not 100 per cent fit over on Rod Laver Arena.
On Margaret Court Arena, meanwhile, Swiatek is a set and a break up on Ferro.
THIEM TO GROW
Thiem: “The first match against Nick and here on an amazing court with an amazing crowd – there are easier things to do.
“That’s for sure one of the tougher challenges we have in our sport. He’s a huge player when he’s on fire like today.”
AND THE BEAT GOES ON
Kyrgios walks off to a massive cheer.
I’ll be bringing you Djokovic shortly, after we hear from Thiem.
WHAT. A. GAME!
3hr 21min of sensational drama and plenty of sportsmanship between the pair at the end.
Thiem gets a rousing ovation from the crowd as well.
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