Novak Djokovic can now sit back and relax and he will face the winner of the fourth round between Pablo Carreno Busta and Daniel Altmaier. Of course, a match-up with Carreno Busta would mean a swift re-match after his US Open default.
Djokovicâ€™s win marks his 14th quarter-final at Roland Garros, which ties Rafael Nadal yesterday as the joint most of all time. Federer is third with 12 quarter-final appearances. The next highest number is Andre Agassi, Christian Boussus, Roy Emerson and Guillermo Vilas with 9.
It really highlights how incredible Djokovic and Federer have been on clay throughout their careers. And yet they both have one Roland Garros title each. It just so happens that, time after time, they have both been blocked by the man who is by far the greatest clay courter of all time.
Novak Djokovicâ€™ stat line:
- 70% first serve points won
- 59% second serve points won
- 23/35 (66%) net points won
- 48% receiving points won
- 44 winners
- 28 unforced errors
Novak Djokovic reaches the quarter-final with a 6-4 6-3 6-3 win over Karen Khachanov
A quality performance from Novak Djokovic against his first top quality opponent. He seemed to lose focus a little in the final set, but he switched it back on so easily.
Djokovic improves to 14-1 in slams this year as he continues to chase #18.
With some top quality serving, Novak Djokovic easily secured a love hold to consolidate the break and move to within a game of the quarter-final. Djokovic leads 6-4 6-3 5-3.
To nobodyâ€™s surprise, Novak Djokovic has immediately broken back to re-establish his third set lead.
The rise in the Serbâ€™s intensity was clear as he cut out errors and risky shots, forcing Khachanov to hit through him. Djokovic raised a break point at 30-40 after grinding out a forehand unforced error from Khachanov. The Russian responded on the break point with a big combo of forehands, eventually forcing a Djokovic error with a searing cross-court forehand.
From deuce, Djokovic pulled off an incredible return, retrieving an excellent Khachanov wide serve before forcing an error with a deep backhand that kissed the baseline. On the second break point, Khachanov fired a forehand long. Djokovic leads 6-4 6-3 *4-3.
Novak Djokovic stops the run of games at three with a hold for 6-4 6-3 3-3, but it was not easy.
Djokovic led by 40-15, a lead that was scuppered by some forceful forehands from Khachanov. On the first deuce, Djokovic sent an overhead flying long. He saved the following break point with, of course, a point-ending drop-shot.
After shanking a forehand well wide on the second deuce, Djokovic found a serve-forehand combination on consecutive points before firing an ace to hold.
Djokovic seemed to lose some timing in the middle of the game, but he showed up on all the big points to keep himself in the lead.
Karen Khachanov did indeed hold serve for his third successive game from 0-2 down, sealed with a nice wrong-footing backhand winner off another failed Djokovic drop shot. He punctuated the hold with a cry of allez, as he should.
Khachanov should be anticipating a rise in intensity across the net. Djokovic will not want to complicate this more than he already has. Djokovic leads 6-4 6-3 *2-3.
Novak Djokovicâ€™s focus just wavered a little and now things are suddenly back on serve. From 30-15, he dumped another drop shot into the net, netted a backhand off a forceful return from Khachanov and then dumped a routine backhand into the net. Letâ€™s see if Khachanov can run with this momentum. Djokovic leads 6-4 6-3 2-2.
While most players would credit their own fight and determination, here is a very humble Andrey Rublev on how he has been able to overturn so many tight moments on serve.
Q. Your opponents served for the set eight times in general in this tournament so far. They only won one of these games. What is it that makes you play your best tennis in those critical moments? ANDREY RUBLEV: To be honest, I donâ€™t know. I mean, is just happen. I think I was really, really, really lucky. I think it was not me who did something. It just happen. If you take all the matches before, most of the times it was never happening, and now in one week it happens more than ever. I donâ€™t know. I think itâ€™s more lucky than something that I play different. I donâ€™t really play in that moments different. I was playing the same style, the same shots. So was more about luck. Maybe a little bit conditions because here is cold. Itâ€™s not easy to serve hard every time. To be able to hold the serve is not that easy.
Things are only moving in one direction on Chatrier as Novak Djokovic takes a 2-0 lead to open the third set.
Djokovic broke serve with another of his beloved drop shot winners after a long point. He then rolled through an easy hold to consolidate the break. After some great serving, Khachanov netted a routine backhand before muttering angrily to himself. In truth, there isnâ€™t much he can do when his serve is under fire from the best returner in the world.
Q. Weâ€™re having a debate on the RG Live at Roland Garros show tonight about social media and whether players should do more or less during slams on social media. What is your opinion on the topic?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Very interesting topic. Me personally, I donâ€™t really use social media during slams. I try and avoid using any form or any app that is linked to social media. I think it keeps me more sane. Yeah, some of the social media, Twitter for example, can be very toxic. Just too much information honestly. You donâ€™t want to be thinking about stuff like this when youâ€™re on the court. I might update sometimes my Instagram for all the fans and all people that came out that day to support me and obviously show some love and appreciation to what I do.
Social media is important. Obviously itâ€™s your brand, you canâ€™t really avoid that. It is your brand. You are someone who can influence people through social media. The only thing is that you have to do it the right way, not overuse the platform. There are some debates about social media, as you said. I think when you spend countless hours per day scrolling through your social media, of course itâ€™s not healthy for you. For your mental health as well. For me has been the case in plenty of times.
Especially during quarantine, I found myself using a lot social media, which is not as pleasant of an experience as people think it is. Just have to use everything with regulation and not overdo things. I think thatâ€™s the basic rule of life: keep a balance, keep a balance in your life. Especially, again, I want to say the hate that you receive sometimes on social media can make it very uncomfortable and very bad experience to be out there. Sometimes itâ€™s not bad to be silent.
With an unreturned serve out wide, Novak Djokovic holds to 15 and establishes a 6-4 6-3 lead against Karen Khachanov. He stands one set away from another quarter-final.
Khachanov recovers from 0-40 down, saving four break points in total to force Djokovic to serve out the set. Good tennis from the Russian, who found his first serve when he really needed it and saved most of the set points by standing on top of the baseline and swinging on the front foot. From deuce, he cracked a lovely angled crosscourt forehand winner before holding with an ace down the T. Djokovic leads 6-4 *5-3.
Djokovic holds to move to within a game of a two set lead, but he certainly did not make his life simple. He lost focus at the beginning of the service game and really should have paid for it.
Djokovic opened the game by missing a forehand, double faulting and then missing a backhand to fall down 0-40.
He tightened up his game and saved all three break points extremely well, only for a forehand to clip the net and fly long. On his fourth break point on the game, Khachanov criminally missed a routine return.
Buoyed by his opponentâ€™s inability to convert break point, Djokovic landed two first serves and slotted his first forehand behind Khachanov to escape. Djokovic leads 6-4 5-2*.
Karen Khachanovâ€™s serve was again under fire, but this time he survives with another hold. This time, he had some help from the world number one. From deuce, Djokovic netted yet another drop shot attempt and then he blazed a backhand long. Djokovic leads 6-4 *4-2.
Novak Djokovic consolidates the break with few problems, closing it off to 30 with a forehand drive volley winner after a big serve out wide. Djokovic leads 6-4 4-1*.
Novak Djokovic breaks for a 6-2 3-1* lead. Djokovic continues to be relentless with the drop shots but after they cost him more than a few points in the first set, they are starting to flow. He reached 0-30 with a lovely effort from his backhand side.
From 15-30, Djokovicâ€™s return did the rest. He first landed a great forehand second serve return at Khachanovâ€™s laces, easily putting away the following short ball. At 15-40, he deflected a very good wide first serve from the Russian with a searing angled forehand return. Khachanov tried to chase it down and sent his forehand long. This is getting comfortable.
Novak Djokovic holds for a 2-1 lead in set two.
After being pulled to 30-30 by a nice Khachanov dropshot, Djokovic responded with what he thought was a sliding ace out wide. Instead, it was called a let. After rolling his eyes and laughing at what he thought was an error, he stepped up and slammed two consecutive unreturned serves to hold. Nicely done. Djokovic leads Khachanov 6-2 2-1*
Novak Djokovic and Karen Khachanov trade holds to open the second set.
A good effort from the Russian to shake off the previous service game to survive a tight service game from deuce. After missing a backhand at 40-30, he responded with a bold point-ending forehand down-the-line at deuce before drawing an error from Djokovicâ€™s backhand.
Novak Djokovic takes the first set 6-4 on Karen Khachanov.
After all of that hard work from Khachanov, he throws in a really bad service game, closing off the set with a routine backhand error and then a double fault. Not good enough.
Djokovic, however, returned extremely well and that double fault was probably consequence of too many returns landing at his laces.
Karen Khachanov breaks Novak Djokovic back for 4-5.
This has been an intense start on Chatrier and despite falling down a break, Khachanov has forced Djokovic to work for every single return point. In this return game, Khachanov finally started to read Djokovicâ€™s serve and after reaching 30-30, he pounced with a huge forehand down the line. Djokovic saved the break point with a sweeping move to the net after a huge forehand, finishing with a nice volley.
But then he went for two successive drop shots and lost two more points with them. He netted the first at deuce, then on the second break point Khachanov chased down both drop shot and lob before landing a lovely dipping backhand passing shot with his back to the net. Great work.
Thanks Rob, this is Tumaini Carayol again and I have returned in time for a pivotal game in set one as Novak Djokovic breaks Karen Khachanov for 5-3.
Despite failing to convert two break points with two poor drop shots in the previous service game, Djokovic continues to look for his drop shot. After a long deuce game and two more missed break points, he landed a lovely dropper at deuce. On his third break point, he stepped into the court, moved Khachanov from side to side and eventually elicited a backhand forced error. He will serve for the set.
Hello all, Rob Bleaney here stepping in for Tumaini at the end of a gripping sixth game of the opening set. Djokovic had two break points, but two imperfect drop shots from the Serb allowed Khachanov back to deuce and the Russian held his nerve and his serve to level the scores at 3-3.
Novak Djokovic and Karen Khachanov roll through the first few holds under the Chatrier roof, with Djokovic sealing a hold for 2-1 with an ace down the T.
I am off to grab a quick lunch, then I will be back to see out the rest of this match.
Novak Djokovic is now entering Chatrier, where he will face his first top 20 opponent of the week in Karen Khachanov.
On the outside courts, play will not resume before 4pm.
All credit to both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev, who faced each other in the final of Hamburg 8 days ago last Sunday after this tournament had already started. It seemed like a bad idea to be competing so close to a best of 5 slam event, and even more when Rublev narrowly won their tough three set match in the final. Many people thought they would eventually hit a wall physically or mentally.
Both players arrived in Paris on Sunday night, had one day to adjust to the conditions and then were thrown into the first round last Tuesday. Not surprisingly, they both immediately fell down two sets, Rublev also down 5-2 in the third set to Sam Querrey. They recovered and have soared ever since, demonstrating ample mental toughness en-route to the quarters. Now one will reach their first Roland Garros semi-final.
Rublevâ€™s best slam results before this week were two US Open quarterfinals, one of which came last month. Tsitsipas reached the Australian Open semi-final in 2019.
Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 7-6(9) 6-2 to reach Roland Garros quarterfinal
Grigor Dimitrov had his chances in the second set, but Tsitsipas is just so much tougher in tight moments. After that second set, that was an unimpressive way to surrender the match.
An excellent effort for Tsitsipas to reach the quarters. He has had plenty of troubles at slam events since his breakthrough semi-final at the Australian Open in 2019 and this is the first time he has returned to the quarters since then.
On the outside courts, play has been suspended and the courts are covered. Rain is expected all afternoon so this could be a long day.
Stefanos Tsitsipas holds to stand one game from his first slam quarter-final.
Grigor Dimitrov did a good job of putting pressure on Tsitsipas and forcing him to deuce, but the Greek evaded it with two timely first serves. After an unreturned first serve at deuce, Dimtrov lashed out at a forehand while on the move and narrowly sent it wide. Tsitsipas leads 6-3 7-6(9) 5-2*.
Grigor Dimitrov saves break point to keep himself in the match.
Things looked to be going in a different, sadder direction though. From 40-15 up, he bailed out of consecutive points with limp dropshots into the net. Then he sprayed a forehand error to face break point at advantage.
However, Dimitrov responded well with a couple of hulking point-ending forehands before finally landing a good drop shot to close it off.
On Chatrier, Stefanos Tsitsipas is running away with the third set against Grigor Dimitrov. He leads 6-3 7-6(9) 4-1*.
As he reaches his first Roland Garros quarter-final, Andrey Rublev is now 33-6 (85%) since the end of last year. He is one of the few young players to demonstrate consistency week after week. He will face the winner of Tsitsipas vs Dimitrov.
Andrey Rublev beats Marton Fucsovics 6-7(4) 7-5 6-4 7-6(3) to reach the quarterfinal
Perhaps the most in-form player in the draw, the Russian makes good of his searing form by reaching his first quarters in Paris.
However, it was so tough and Rublev was constantly chasing a lead throughout. He was down 2-5 in the second set, 1-3 in the third set and then *4-5 0-40 in the fourth set. You have to win the big points.
On Lenglen, Andrey Rublev and Marton Fucsovics have battled all the way into a fourth set tiebreak after Fucsovics held three set points at 5-4.
Rublev has once again stepped up under pressure and he has taken a big 5-2 lead.
Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram fall in the menâ€™s doubles quarterfinals. In the end, they lost a tough third set to 7th seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares 6-4 4-6 7-5.
Stefanos Tsitsipas takes the second set on a marathon tiebreak to lead Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 7-6(9). From 9-9, two forehands were the difference: Tsitsipas crushed an excellent wrong-footing forehand winner, then Dimitrov netted en easy forehand off a short ball on Tsitsipasâ€™s third set point. The Greekâ€™s superior toughness was the difference and now he is a set away from his first Roland Garros quarter-final.
The tiebreak continues between Tsitsipas and Dimitrov, now 9-9 with everything on the line. After so little separated them through the first 10 points, at 5-5 Dimitrov missed an easy second serve return on his forehand to hand the Greek a set point. What followed was an incredible rally, with both players crushing the ball and defending so well, with Dimitrov eventually chasing down a Tsitsipas drop shot and slotting his backhand for clean winner.
At 6-6, Dimitrov slipped and then sprayed a forehand long as he tried to regain his balance. He responded well again on the second set point at 6-7, pounding his backhand crosscourt and eventually rushing Tsitsipas, drawing a shanked error.
At 7-7, a routine forehand error from Tsitsipas handed Dimitrov his first set point on his serve at 8-7, but then the Bulgarian netted a backhand slice. Dimitrov responded at 8-8 with a big unreturned serve to produce another set point, this time on Tsitsipasâ€™s serve at at 9-8. He had the set on his racquet, but he sent a forehand wide for 9-9.
Stefanos Tsitsipas forces a second set tiebreak on Chatrier after another tough hold. This time, under immense pressure from Dimitrov, Tsitsipas found himself 15-30 down. He responded by firing a big ace down the T, then he slipped into the net after another big serve and finished the point with a smooth volley.
After multiple deuces followed, Tsitsipas dismounted with two successive service winners. His serving has been top class under pressure in this set.
Tense moments for Stefanos Tsitsipas, who just successfully served to stay in the second set. Grigor Dimitrov is playing much better now and piling on the pressure late in the second set, but after reaching 30-30 on Tsitsipasâ€™s service game, a loose error offered the Greek game point. He gratefully took it, firing down a big serve to hold.
Dimitrov responded with a quick hold to put the pressure straight back on Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas leads 6-3 *5-6.
On Chatrier, Stefanos Tsitsipas just cooly navigated a potentially complicated situation, finding three first serves from 15-30 down. He fired a serve-forehand 1-2 punch, then an unreturned serve, then he controlled the game point, eventually forcing a Dimitrov backhand error. Positive, proactive play from the Greek to keep this set in play against an improving Dimitrov. Tsitsipas leads 6-3 4-4.
Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram have been pushed to a third set 6-4 4-6 by 7th seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares.
Andrey Rublev has been down so often throughout the past 9 days. He trailed Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-5 in the final of Hamburg last Sunday and returned to claim his first ATP 500 title. Two days later, after scurrying to Paris late on the opening day of play, he trailed by two sets and 5-2 in his first round against Sam Querrey. Today, Rublev has spent so much of this match chasing a deficit against an inspired Marton Fucsovics.
His confidence is so palpable in the important moments and nobody is more aware of that right now than Fucsovics himself.
Andrey Rublev finally pulls away against Marton Fucsovics to establish a two set lead at 6-7(3) 7-5 6-4. After losing his serve, Rublev immediately broke back, sealing an excellent, proactive return game with a searing forehand down-the-line winner. He served it out with easily, crushing an ace down the T on set point.
The answer to that previous question: not very well. After a few sloppy errors, including a routine mis-timed forehand on break point, Andrey Rublev meekly hands the break back to Marton Fucsovics for 4-4. The pair have been playing for 2 hours 44 minutes now and the score remains perfectly even.
Lenglen is a battle, but Andrey Rublev has finally edged ahead after spending so much of this match chasing Fucsovics down.
Fucsovics led by a break early in the set, but a dogged Andrey Rublev has now won 3 games in a row to lead *4-3. Rublevâ€™s relentless pressure on the Fucsovics backhand is starting to pay off and he broke serve after a shanked backhand error from the Hungarian.
Rublev now leads 6-7(3) 7-5 *4-2. Weâ€™ll see how he reacts to finally being ahead.