Djokovic and Zverev battle through to last 16 at French Open

06 June, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts during his second round match against Spain's Jaume Munar at the French Open

His opponent, however, was the stronger in an epic fourth-set tiebreak, prevailing on his fourth match point.

Keys, the US Open runner-up a year ago, will face either Czech 26th seed Barbora Strycova or Yulia Putintseva, the 98th-ranked Kazakh, for a place in the semi-finals.

While defeat will be painful Djokovic, who has spent 223 weeks as world number one during his career, he will reflect on a positive claycourt season having reached the final in Rome and enjoyed a strong run in Paris before falling short.

Djokovic was back with his former coach, Marián Vajda, who said Djokovic was not at his best at Roland Garros, but improving.

German second seed Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic edged closer to a possible French Open semi-final clash of generations, with the youngster edging out Karen Khachanov and the former champion seeing off Fernando Verdasco in the last 16 on Sunday. "Because now I need to realize the moment, because I will play the semi-final in Roland Garros".

However, he threw away a 5-2 lead in the fourth set and ended up losing a dramatic tie-break.

Cecchinato became the first Italian man in 40 years to reach a Grand Slam semi-final with a memorable 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 1-6 7-6 (13-11) victory after three hours and 26 minutes over the 12-time Grand Slam champion on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

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"Obviously. making the fourth round four times or whatever is pretty good, but to finally get over that hump of quarter-finals feels very nice", she said.

Verdasco, world No. 35, coped with world No. 5 Dimitrov's winners, controlling the serve points, only conceding his service game three times out of ten opportunities.

"He held his nerves amazingly well in important moments", acknowledged Djokovic, who said he isn't certain whether he will play at Wimbledon.

Cecchinato and Djokovic know each other well: They have practiced together in Monte Carlo, where Cecchinato trains at a tennis academy and Djokovic has a home. This will be Zverev's first quarterfinal match in a Grand Slam, so Thiem edges him in experience.

His climb up the rankings and his efforts here are all the more remarkable given what happened to him in 2016, when he was embroiled in a match-fixing scandal in Italy.

"I'm a better player in general, for sure".

Even as he conceded the second set, Djokovic managed to regain his composure as he went on to pull off a 6-4 6-7 7-6 6-2 win over Agut in an intriguing third-round battle.

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