Novak Djokovic defeated Karen Khachanov in straight sets to make the French Open quarter-finals for the 11th consecutive year on Monday while Petra Kvitova returned to the last eight at Roland Garros for the first time since 2012. Top seed and 2016 champion Djokovic won 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 against Russian 15th seed Khachanov to draw level with Rafael Nadal on a record 14 quarter-final appearances in Paris. Djokovic faced his toughest assignment so far but Khachanov was unable to derail his bid to become the first man in half a century to win all four Grand Slam titles twice.
The Serb hit 44 winners and has yet to drop a set in the tournament, losing only 25 games in four rounds. He improved his record in 2020 to 35 wins against just one loss.
“It was a very even match, perhaps more difficult than the result showed,” said Djokovic, who is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title.
He will face Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, the man who benefited from Djokovic’s US Open disqualification, or German qualifier Daniel Altmaier for a spot in the last four.
World number 186 Altmaier is just the fourth man in 20 years to reach the round of 16 on his Grand Slam debut.
Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame an eye problem to become the first Greek man to reach the last eight of the French Open with a 6-3, 7-6 (11/9), 6-2 win over Grigor Dimitrov.
The 22-year-old will now take on Andrey Rublev in a repeat of the recent Hamburg final which was won by the Russian.
Fifth seed Tsitsipas has won 12 successive sets at the tournament having been two sets down to Jaume Munar in the opening round.
Rublev, the 13th seed, also advanced to the quarter-finals for the first time after battling past Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 6-7 (4/7), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).
In a match which featured 12 breaks of serve, the 22-year-old Rublev had been a break down in the second and third sets. He also had to save three set points in the fourth.
“I knew it would be tough,” said Rublev who arrived in Paris having reached his second US Open quarter-final last month.
“I had a little bit of luck today. There was a lot of wind so you are going to lose your serve a lot in those conditions.”
Two-time Wimbledon Kvitova advanced to the last eight at Roland Garros for the first time in eight years. Her best run in Paris came when she reached the semi-finals in 2012.
Seventh seed Kvitova, who missed last year’s tournament due to an arm injury, defeated China’s Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-4 and will next play German veteran Laura Siegemund.
“After eight years to be in the quarter-final again, it’s great. I’m really happy for that, that I’m still able to play on all surfaces,” said Kvitova.
“When the roof is closed it’s like being indoors and I really love to play.”
Only four seeds remain in the women’s draw, with No. 4 Sofia Kenin the second highest left behind third seed Elina Svitolina following the exit of title favourite Simona Halep.
Australian Open champion Kenin, who defeated Serena Williams in the fourth round last year, will later face unseeded French player Fiona Ferro.
“I feel like I’m playing well at the Slams,” said Kenin, who has made the last 16 or better at the three majors this season.
“It’s not easy, everyone is playing their best tennis at the Grand Slams. But I definitely feel like I should get deep in a tournament.”
Ons Jabeur is targeting a second quarter-final in three Slams after becoming the first Arab woman to make the fourth round here.
The Tunisian 30th seed next faces 57th-ranked American Danielle Collins, although their match was delayed by persistent rain that restricted play to just Court Philippe Chatrier for much of the day.
Siegemund, 32, advanced to her first Grand Slam singles quarter-final after defeating former junior champion Paula Badosa of Spain 7-5, 6-2 before the weather delay.
She became the fourth unseeded player to make the last eight this year, joining Iga Swiatek, Nadia Podoroska and Martina Trevisan.
Siegemund won last month’s US Open women’s doubles titles alongside Vera Zvonareva.
Topics mentioned in this article