Djokovic powers into Roland Garros QF

Djokovic powers into Roland Garros QF
Novak Djokovic returns a shot to Jan-Lennard Struff during their French Open match on Monday.
Paris, Jun 3 (Agencies): | Publish Date: 6/4/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

World number one Novak Djokovic continued his bid to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously for the second time by thrashing Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in the French Open fourth round on Monday.

The 32-year-old Serbian was in irrepressible form as he romped to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win to set up a quarter-final against either Italian Fabio Fognini or fifth seed Alexander Zverev.
Djokovic is the first man to make the last-eight in Paris for 10 successive seasons. 
“It was tricky with the rain, but that’s Paris,” said the 2016 champion after playing in drizzly conditions. “I’m really confident with my serve. I hope it continues like that.”
Only Australian great Rod Laver has held all four majors at the same time twice before, after his calendar Grand Slams in 1962 and 1969. But top seed Djokovic, who first held all four when he won his maiden Roland Garros title three years ago, is looking to follow in Laver’s footsteps after adding the Australian Open trophy earlier this year to his 2018 Wimbledon and US Open titles.
The 15-time Grand Slam champion powered 31 winners past world number 45 Struff on Court Philippe Chatrier and made only 12 unforced errors. He broke serve five times in the match and did not face a break point until stumbling slightly when serving for victory.
Djokovic saved that, though, as Struff netted, and he booked a quarter-final spot on his first match point. 
Meanwhile, Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori came back from 1-4 and 3-5 down in the final set to beat Benoit Paire of France and set-up a Roland Garros quarter-final clash against defending champion Rafael Nadal on Monday.
Nishikori won 6-2, 6-7 (8/10), 6-2, 6-7 (8/10), 7-5 in a shade under four hours to reach his third last-eight clash at the French Open.
“He almost had it today,” said Nishikori who had led two sets to one when the last-16 tie was suspended on Sunday. “He served for the match at 5-3 but I just tried to fight and play one point at a time.”
The 29-year-old Japanese could have wrapped it up in the fourth set when he had two match points but he squandered both, the second on a double fault.
Paire, the world number 38 who was trying to make the quarter-final of a Slam for the first time, was eventually undone by 15 double faults and 79 unforced errors.
Nishikori has only defeated 11-time French Open champion Nadal twice in 12 meetings with both of those wins coming on hard court. The 33-year-old Spaniard has won all four of their meetings on clay.
Keys, Barty advance
Madison Keys booked her place in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros for the second straight year with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Katerina Siniakova.
Keys made a blistering start to the match, dropping just two points in the first three games. And although her progress was quelled by a mini-revival from the Czech, who broke back, Keys then rattled off four straight games to take the opening set 6-2.
After the two players exchanged breaks in the first two games of the second set, chances to get on the front foot were few and far between until Siniakova was serving at 4-5, when Keys broke to move into the last eight. She was soon joined in the quarter-finals by Ashleigh Barty, who ended Sofia Kenin’s dream run in Paris with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 victory.
Serena Williams’ conqueror suffered a sluggish start, succumbing to a 5-1 deficit in double-quick time. Kenin then steadied the ship but the damage had been done. In between the first and second sets, the 20-year-old American received treatment and came out firing at the start of the second, racing into a 3-0 lead. She had trouble serving it out, saving two break back points before finally sealing the set.
The final set was a cakewalk for the Australian as she pulled off the bagel to make her first quarter-final at Roland Garros.


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