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Djokovic makes history at Roland Garros as he eases into record 10th quarter-final


Too strong: Novak Djokovic defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets to reach the last-eight at the French Open
Too strong: Novak Djokovic defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets to reach the last-eight at the French Open

By Eleanor Crooks

Novak Djokovic claimed his own piece of French Open history by reaching a 10th consecutive quarter-final at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal dominates the record books here but neither he nor Roger Federer has managed to reach the last eight every year for a decade.

Djokovic did so in style with a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory over German Jan-Lennard Struff in just an hour and 33 minutes.

The World No.1, who is bidding to become the first man in the Open era to hold all four Grand Slam titles for a second time, is the only man apart from Federer who is yet to drop a set this tournament.

Djokovic said: "I am satisfied so far with my game. I reached the quarter-finals and played as close to my best tennis on clay as I think I can at the moment. I'm really pleased with every aspect of my game.

"So everything is coming together beautifully. I'm motivated to fight for the trophy, but it's still a long way to go."

In the last eight, Djokovic will play fifth seed Alexander Zverev, who claimed his best victory at a Grand Slam by beating in-form ninth seed Fabio Fognini 3-6 6-2 6-2 7-6(5).

Despite his high ranking and the fact he made the last eight here last year, Zverev had never beaten a top-20 player at a Slam, while this was his first victory over a top-20 player in what has been a tough season until now.

Fourth seed Dominic Thiem has been making headlines away from the court over the last couple of days but he produced his most impressive display of the tournament to beat Gael Monfils, the last French singles hope, 6-4 6-4 6-2.

Thiem, last year's runner-up, is through to the quarter-finals for the fourth successive year.

The Austrian was able to complete his press conference this time having been evicted from the main press room following his third-round victory to make way for an impatient Serena Williams.

Thiem was understandably unhappy and told German Eurosport on Sunday that he believed Williams had shown a "bad personality".

Expanding on the incident, he said: "I don't know if she saw me or if she saw that somebody's in the room. So, if she would have seen me, then it would be nicer from her to wait.

"But it's also understandable, in a sort of way. She lost and everything. So I think it was a little bit mistake of her, mistake of the officials, but it's forgotten."

In a match carried over from Sunday, Kei Nishikori defeated France's Benoit Paire 6-2 6-7(8) 6-2 6-7(8) 7-5 to set up a quarter-final against Nadal.

After saving two match points in the fourth-set tie-break, Paire served for the match at 5-3 in the fifth but Nishikori won the final four games.

Belfast Telegraph


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