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Novak at night: Djokovic's growing strength under Rod Laver Arena's lights

  • Matt Trollope

Novak Djokovic enters his fourth-round clash against Alex de Minaur with a chance to boost his already-incredible record at Rod Laver Arena. 

The nine-time Australian Open champion would earn a 20th consecutive night-time win at the stadium, should he beat the young Aussie. 

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Victory would also give Djokovic a 25th straight match win at Rod Laver Arena – the second-best streak in the stadium's 35-year history, equal with Andre Agassi and Martina Hingis. 

It would put him one victory shy of Monica Seles' history-best 26 straight match wins – spanning 1991 to 1999 – at the Australian Open's premier court. 

Djokovic has not lost under lights at Rod Laver Arena since Hyeon Chung beat him in the fourth round in 2018. 

"I love the conditions here, particularly in the night sessions," Djokovic said in an entertaining on-court interview with former world No.4 Jelena Dokic. 

"It's played really well for me, I think, for my style of tennis. 

"And I guess the more you win on the court, the more confident you feel every next time you step on the court. 

"This is one of the most important stadiums in the world, so this court, this stadium, this crowd, always gets the best out of me." 

Since 2008, Rod Laver Arena has been Djokovic's happiest hunting ground (Getty Images)

With his third round-win over Grigor Dimitrov, Djokovic improved his Rod Laver Arena win-loss record to 71-7 – nudging his winning rate above 91 per cent. 

Only Seles has a better success rate on the same court, winning almost 92 per cent of her 37 matches. 

But while Seles, Agassi and Hingis currently have longer unbeaten streaks than Djokovic, none can match his sustained invincibility under lights.  

Hingis and Seles, undefeated at night at Rod Laver Arena, played only 12 and seven evening matches respectively. 

Agassi won 12 of his 15 night matches – but his best streak was just seven wins. 

Djokovic, competing with a wrapped thigh as he survived Grigor Dimitrov in the third round on Saturday night, hoped he could keep his extraordinary winning run going. 

"I try my very best, as I have tonight, and I'm really fortunate to still stay in the tournament," he told the crowd that night, before looking ahead to the De Minaur clash. 

"Playing in front of your guys, obviously I don't know how many of you will be on my side," he laughed.  

"I don't think too many, but I don't know. Let's see.  

"Obviously it's going to be a great atmosphere, I'm sure, and I'll look forward to it."