AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2012: Novak Djokovic cruises through to fourth round

Djokovic on fire as defending champion crushes Mahut to reach fourth round

Novak Djokovic barely broke sweat as he overcame Nicolas Mahut for the loss of just two games at the Australian Open.

Mahut's heavily bandaged left leg was clearly a hindrance and world number one Djokovic was in no mood to show any mercy, cantering home 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 in just an hour and 14 minutes.

Heading through: Djokovic waves to fans after his easy win

Heading through: Djokovic waves to fans after his easy win

Djokovic, the defending champion in Melbourne and also the title holder at Wimbledon and the US Open following a remarkable 2011, has not dropped a set in his three matches so far.

Indeed, he has conceded just 10 games in advancing to a fourth-round meeting with either Milos Raonic or Lleyton Hewitt.

It took Mahut, who famously lost 70-68 in the fifth set to John Isner at Wimbledon in 2010, until the eighth game to get on the scoreboard.

Looking good: Djokovic in third round action in Melbourne

Looking good: Djokovic in third round action in Melbourne

The Frenchman smiled in acknowledging the cheers of the crowd, but it did not spark an improvement in his fortunes as Djokovic continued to move him around, exposing his condition.

Mahut, 30 today, kept plugging away but Djokovic eased over the line to keep his challenge firmly on track.

'Credit to him, we saw some taping around his knee and I felt sorry for him,' Djokovic said.

'Evidently he was not playing his best or moving too well but he did not want to retire from the match.'