Djokovic gives no quarter to clown Fognini
Novak Djokovic on court during his men's singles match against Fabio Fognini at the Australian Open in Melbourne on January 19, 2014 - by William West
World number two Djokovic outclassed the Italian 15th seed in straight sets to reach the last eight in quick time, closely followed by David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych.
Djokovic coasted to a 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 victory in just one hour 33 minutes to claim his 19th straight Grand Slam quarter-final, a total only bettered by Roger Federer (36) and Jimmy Connors (27).
Djokovic, who is bidding for a fifth Australian title and his seventh Grand Slam, also stretched his unbeaten match run to 28 since the US Open final in New York last September.
He will next play in-form Swiss eighth seed Wawrinka, who took out Spanish 17th seed Tommy Robredo 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5) in the night match on Rod Laver Arena.
Djokovic beat Wawrinka 12-10 in the fifth set of a titanic duel in the fourth round in Melbourne last year. The Swiss is yet to lose in 2014 after winning this month's Chennai Open.
"I've felt from the start of this tournament that I've been elevating my game as the tournament is going on. Every match is better," Djokovic said.
"The general feeling on the court, all the shots, using the court position really well, being aggressive, playing my style of the game.
"That's what I've done really well today overall from the first to the last point. I haven't allowed my opponent to come back to the match."
In a hollow contest, Djokovic broke Fognini's service six times from 22 break points and hit 33 winners past the at times lackadaisical Italian.
Djokovic, who has been friends with Fognini since their junior playing days in Europe, maintained his focus as the theatrical Italian played to the crowd and performed with little intensity.
It will be Djokovic's seventh straight quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open and extends his unbeaten run to 25 matches at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic is looking to become just the second man behind Roy Emerson to win four consecutive Australian Open titles.
Elsewhere, Spain's world number three Ferrer overcame Germany's Florian Mayer in four sets on Hisense Arena to maintain his strong record in Melbourne.
Ferrer dropped the opening set in a tiebreaker before going on to win 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 in just under three hours.
It is the terrier-like Spaniard's fourth consecutive quarter-final at the Australian Open and fifth overall as he bids to better his losing semi-final appearance against Djokovic last year.
The languid Mayer, who had beaten Ferrer three times in their seven previous encounters, troubled the Spaniard in the opening set.
But Ferrer progressively wore him down, hitting a total of 64 winners and claiming nine service breaks.
"I am proud of that. The last four or five years I have played very good in the Grand Slams," Ferrer said.
"Every day I am playing better. Today was my best match in the tournament and now I am in the quarter-final."
Ferrer will next face Czech seventh seed Berdych, who was too strong for 19th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson, winning 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in just under two hours on Margaret Court Arena.