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Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Home Other Sports Novak Djokovic breaks Rafael Nadal's record and advances to the quarter-finals of...

Novak Djokovic breaks Rafael Nadal’s record and advances to the quarter-finals of the French Open


Novak Djokovic is into his 17th French Open quarter-final after reaching the final eight for the 55th time.

On Sunday, Novak Djokovic advanced to the French Open quarterfinals for the 14th consecutive year, as world number one Carlos Alcaraz prepared for a difficult test against Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti. Third seed Djokovic, pursuing a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam singles championship at Roland Garros, halted Peruvian outsider Juan Pablo Varillas’ unexpected run in straight sets. Djokovic, a two-time Paris champion, defeated 94th-ranked Varillas 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to set up a match with Russia’s Karen Khachanov, the 11th seed who defeated Lorenzo Sonego in four sets. “I’d never met my opponent before. I knew he was a clay court expert, and I knew I had to earn the victory. “It was the best I played all week,” Djokovic remarked.

Through four rounds, Djokovic, 36, has yet to drop a set. He is into his 17th French Open quarter-final after reaching the final eight for the 55th time.

“I am extremely proud of this achievement.” “I’ve put a lot of effort into my game, and I’m very motivated to keep going,” Djokovic continued.

Varillas, 27, is the first Peruvian to reach the second week of a Grand Slam since Jaime Yzaga reached the quarterfinals of the US Open 29 years ago.

Djokovic raced off to a 4-0 lead in the first set, only for Varillas to break in the following game and then have a chance to come back on service in the eighth.

But after Djokovic had a 5-2 lead, it was smooth sailing for him, as he won in just under two hours.

He is 8-1 against his next opponent, Khachanov, who overcame a shaky start to defeat Sonego 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9/7), 6-1 to reach his third consecutive Slam quarter-final.

Alcaraz is attempting to reach the French Open quarterfinals for the second year in a row.

So far, he had appeared to be the tournament favourites, although Musetti defeated the Spaniard in their only prior match in the 2022 Hamburg final.

“I remember the match in Hamburg,” Alcaraz said. “It was extremely difficult.” This is a match I’ve been looking forward to playing.”

Musetti, the 17th seed, defeated Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals earlier this year and is one of four guys yet to drop a set at the French Open.

Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner in the last 16.

The Greek fifth seed, who lost a two-set lead against Djokovic in the 2021 final, is in the second week for the sixth year in a row.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 2021 runner-up, advanced to the quarter-finals after rebounding from a set and a break behind to defeat Belgian 28th seed Elise Mertens 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

The Russian, whose ranking has dropped to 333 due to a major knee injury, is the lowest-ranked Grand Slam quarter-finalist since the US Open in 2017.

Pavlyuchenkova will face Karolina Muchova in the quarterfinals after the Czech defeated fortunate loser Elina Avanesyan 6-4, 6-3.

In the night session, Australian Open winner Aryna Sabalenka takes on 2018 finalist Sloane Stephens, the first women’s match to air in primetime this year at the seventh attempt.

Sabalenka has yet to reach the semi-finals of a major tournament, despite the fact that she has a chance to overtake Iga Swiatek as world number one this weekend.

Following maternity leave and a sabbatical due to mental weariness following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Elina Svitolina has had a dream run in her first Grand Slam event since the 2022 Australian Open.

She has refused to shake Russian opponents’ hands on the WTA Tour, but the former world number three has hailed her forthcoming opponent Daria Kasatkina “brave” for being more public about the situation than her Russian counterparts.

“I’m grateful to Dasha for accepting this position.” That is also what you anticipate from others. “She is very brave,” Svitolina stated.

Svitolina has won all six prior matches and is aiming for a fourth quarter-final appearance at the French Open against a player who reached the last four in 2022.



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