Nadal And Djokovic Roll Into Second Week At Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal (photo: Brigitte Urban)

PARIS, June 4, 2017

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic advanced to their 11th Roland Garros quarterfinals and joined Roger Federer at the top of the list for most French Open quarterfinal appearances in the Open Era.

The fourth seed from Spain rolled into the stage of the final eight with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory against countryman and 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who was trying to reach the quarterfinal at a Grand Slam for the first time.

“I played against a very good player, and I was able to win in straight sets with a very positive result. So I’m happy for that. I probably didn’t play as well as I did the other day, but I still played well,” Nadal told after the one hour and 50 minutes encounter.

Nadal will next meet 20th seed and fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who knocked out the tournament’s number five Milos Raonic of Canada, winning 4-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4, 8-6 to celebrate his first Top 10 win and make his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

“It is difficult to explain my emotions at the end of the match. It was the best victory of my career,” Carreno Busta was happy. “This is a match you dream of when you are young, playing Roland Garros, five sets, four hours and a half. It was really tough, really tough. But I just tried to do my best. I enjoyed. I suffer, but I enjoyed. And of course if you win, you enjoy more.”

Nadal leads their heead-to-head series 3-0, and two of their three meetings have come on clay.

I am in the quarterfinals, and I am healthy and I am playing well. That’s the only important thing for me,” Nadal said. “The goal is always to try your best every day and to try to be through to the next round. That’s what I’ve done so I’m very happy about the first week of competition, obviously.”

Djokovic To Face Thiem

Novak Djokovic beat Albert Ramos Vinolas of Spain 7-6, 6-1, 6-3. The second seed from Serbia won 72 per cent of his first service points and capitalized on seven of his 10 break point chances to finish the encounter in two hours and 27 minutes.

Next up for Djokovic will be sixth seed Dominic Thiem, who advanced to the quarterfinals in Paris for the second straight year. The Austrian youngster eased past Argentine Horacio Zeballos, winning 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in only one hour and 39 minutes.

“I think it was a very good match today. It was great fun to play out there. Perfect conditions in the big Lenglen court. I was enjoying basically every second of the match,” Thiem told.

Thiem trails Djokovic in their head-to-head record 0-5 and has won just eight games in the five sets they have contested on clay. The Serbian defeated Thiem in last year’s Roland Garros semi-finals.

“It’s going to be an interesting match. I have some experience to play against him. I will talk to my coach, to my team. Then maybe change something up and hope that I play a good match on Tuesday.”