PARIS, June 3, 2018
Novak Djokovic reached an Open Era record 12th quarterfinal at Roland Garros and equalled Roger Federer’s record of 9 straight appearances in the last 8 in Paris. The 31-year-old from Serbia defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in Sunday’s final match on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
The 2016 champion fired 21 winners and converted on five of 10 break chances to secure his 200th clay-court victory in two hours and 25 minutes.
“I’m just taking it one match at a time, and right now, considering I played almost four hours in my last match, I felt pretty good physically today,” said Djokovic. “I had no problems to go the distance in long rallies and I won in the three sets against a player who is in form, especially for this surface. So that’s all positives for now.”
Cecchinato upsets Goffin
Next up for Djokovic will be Marco Cecchinato, who upset No. 8 seed David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. The World No. 72 sent down eight aces and broke his opponent six times to prevail in two hours and 31 minutes. Before coming to Paris he had never before won a main-draw match at a major.
“I am very very happy. Because first round I lost two sets to zero and now I will play the quarterfinal, today I beat David who is one fo the best player in the world. So it’s a dream for me,” Cecchinato commented.
“For me, playing against Novak in quarterfinal in Roland-Garros, so now I need to do treatment, and shower (laughter). I need to think these moments because it’s unbelievable for me.”
Last month, the 25-year-old Italian won his first career title on the ATP World Tour in Budapest, after losing in the last round of the qualifying.
Stephens reaches first French Open quarterfinal
In the women’s draw, reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens completed her set of Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The encounter only lasted 52 minutes.
“I think that’s pretty cool,” she told Tennis Channel after reaching the last eight at all four major tournaments. “A lot of girls dream of making quarters or semis, and now that I’ve done that at all four Slams that’s pretty awesome. That was definitely a goal, and I’m glad to finally make it through to the quarterfinals here.”
Stephens will next face either No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki or 14th favourite Daria Kasatkina of Russia. Their match was suspended due to darkness with the Russian leading 7-6, 3-3.