Roland Garros: Djokovic Passes Khachanov Test

Novak Djokovic (photo: Brigitte Urban)

PARIS/STARNBERG, October 5, 2020

Novak Djokovic reached his 11th consecutive quarterfinal at Roland Garros with a straight-sets victory against Russian 15th seed Karen Khachanov.

The World No. 1 from Serbia, whose only French Open title win came in 2016 when he completed the career Grand Slam, was pushed hard at times on his way to a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 victory on Monday afternoon.

Under the closed roof on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Djokovic won 70 per cent of his first-service points and capitalized on six of his 15 break point opportunities to prevail after two hours and 23 minutes.

Djokovic, who is now 35-1 in 2020, will next play Pablo Carreno Busta. The 29-year-old from Spain ended the run of German qualifier Daniel Altmaier, winning 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 in two hours and 22 minutes.

“Carreno Busta is someone that is obviously very solid,” Djokovic said of his upcoming opponent. “I think he actually improved his game in the last 12, 15 months on all the surfaces. I mean, playing semifinals in US Open proves it. I know he has done it before. He’s climbing the rankings again. He won slams or played finals in doubles, as well. He has very good hands, great return. Puts you under a lot of pressure. He moves very well. Obviously, as all the Spanish players, he grew up playing on clay, even though probably his game fits the hard court, kind of slower hard courts, the most. He’s had some impressive wins lately.”

Tsitsipas sets Rublev re-match

Stefanos Tsitsipas progressed into the stage of the final eight for the first time with a straight-sets victory against Grigor Dimitrov.

The fifth seed from Greece saved two set points in a well-contested second set against Bulgarian 18th seed Dimitrov as he sealed a 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-2 win in two hours and 26 minutes.

“The tie-break was where all the money went. I tried to take it point by point, I showed a lot of discipline. It was a very responsible win in the second set,” said Tsitsipas.

The runner-up of the Hamburg European Open will face 13th seed Andrey Rublev of Russia, who clinched the title at the ATP 500 clay-court tournament two weeks ago, beating Tsitsipas in three sets. World No. 12 Rublev battled past Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(3) in almost four hours of play.

“I think I was a little bit lucky. He was a set and 5-2 up, 5-3 serving for the second set. Then he was up a break in the third set… It was really tough,” said Rublev. “I feel great with my performances for the past couple of weeks, in general with my season. I’m really grateful… It’s a nice feeling to be able to win that many matches in a row.”

Siegemund into first Grand Slam quarterfinal

On the women’s side, Laura Siegemund of Germany continued her great run of form in Paris by reaching her first quarterfinal at a Grand Slam tournament following a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Spain’s Paula Badosa.

“I think I played very up and down at the beginning of the set, couldn’t kind of find my groove and consistency. Her game was good at the beginning. I think she started well, started to serve well. She has a lot of spin in her ball so I kind of needed some time to adjust to her length and spin. It took me a long time to find my groove,” Siegemund said after the one hour and 36 minutes encounter on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

I didn’t get angry when things weren’t going my way, where there would have been a lot of reasons to get angry. I had a lot of chances. I had a lot of errors where I was dominating the point but didn’t execute well.

“I tried to work it out and I did. She gave me some chances the end of the first set and I took them. Then in the second was a little bit better. I served much better. She didn’t serve well any more, I think also some problems probably with the back. I think we were both kind of struggling but I kept it together better.”

Siegemund will next face No.7 seed Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic, who defeated Chinese Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 25 minutes.

No.4 seed Sofia Kenin from the United States had to come back from a set down against France’s Fiona Ferro to book her spot into the Roland Garros quarterfinals for the first time. The reigning Australian Open champion won 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 in one hour and 44 minutes. Kenin awaits the winner between No.30 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia and her fellow US-American Danielle Collins. Due to bad weather, their match will be played on Tuesday morning.