Novak Djokovic was a man on the mission at the 2011 Australian Open, claiming his second Major crown and firing up one of the Open era’s most remarkable seasons. In the fourth round, Novak took down Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in an hour and 44 minutes for his fourth straight quarter-final in Melbourne. The Serb lost 18 points in 13 service games and saved all three break chances to challenge the opponent on the other side of the net. Nicolas could not match those numbers, suffering one break in sets one and two and losing ground in the third to propel Novak through. In his only awkward moment of the entire match, Novak received a coaching violation, by his words, for the first time in his career. Djokovic was unhappy about the decision, saying he should have gotten a kind of pre-warning first and repeating that his coach did not tell him anything.
Novak Djokovic received the coaching violation at the 2011 Australian Open.
Novak grabbed a break in the opener’s fourth game after Nicolas’ forehand error and cemented the advantage with an ace in game five. Serving at 5-3, the Serb fired an ace to claim the opener in 31 minutes. Djokovic broke at 1-1 in the second set and squandered two more break opportunities at 3-1 to keep the rival within one break deficit. World no. 3 landed an ace at 5-4 to wrap up the set and move closer to the finish line after an hour and 16 minutes. The 2008 champion opened the third set with a break, saved two break chances in the next one and brought it home with a cracking backhand crosscourt winner. World no. 3 secured another return game with a forehand winner for a 3-0 lead and placed a backhand return winner at 4-0 to move closer to the finish line. Serving for the victory in game six, Novak held at 15 and sailed into the quarter-final, where he would face Tomas Berdych.
“I played a very good match. My serve worked great, and it’s essential to raise a level before the quarter-final, as I did today. The encounters are only getting more challenging and unpredictable. I had a formidable opponent who hits big, and I could test a couple of things in my game. I did not spend too much time on the court in the first four matches, and I’m ready for the next test against Tomas Berdych or Fernando Verdasco. I think the umpire made the wrong decision. I missed a forehand and turned to my coach. I only made eye contact with him and did not ask for any advice. That can not help you much anyway, as you have to do things on your own on the court. I do not understand the decision, as you should get a pre-warning before any official violation. This is my first coaching violation; I never had that before, and he should have told me before giving me a warning,” Novak Djokovic said.