Novak Djokovic into last 16 at Slam for 43rd time

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Paris: Resurgent former champion Novak Djokovic reached the French Open quarterfinals for the 12th time on Sunday as he subdued feisty Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Novak Djokovic has booked his place in the French Open fourth round with victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.

The 30-year-old put up a real fight during a 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 2-6 loss to the former world No. 1 - a match that lasted the best part of four hours - but ultimately came up short.

Djokovic, who at 22 in the world is at his lowest ranking since 2006, became frustrated at times during the opening set, but he grabbed the first break of the match in game 10 to take a one-set advantage.

But the 12-time grand slam champion overcame the odd lapse to triumph, taking the third via a tie-break after Bautista Agut failed to serve it out and then breezing through the fourth.

"Fours hours for the match, I'm a bit exhausted, Bautista Agut plays with too much patience for me, but I'm very happy to have won the match", said Djokovic, who holds a 10-4 head-to-head record over Verdasco.

Momentum continued to flow with Djokovic at the start of the second, breaking at the first chance, only to allow Bautista Agut back into the set when the Spaniard claimed his first break point of the match for 4-3.

"My life is tennis so I'm used to going inside the court and forgetting about my real life", he said.

"That's when you have to deal with this kind of emotions and understand how you can get better, how you balance everything that is happening inside so you can come out the next challenge and learn from it and be better".

A drop of serve when in position to win the match did not matter for Djokovic, though, as Bautista Agut was broken in the next game, sending him through to a tie with Verdasco. "I'm doing my best".

The gruelling encounter passed three hours as Djokovic forced another breaker, which he took on his third set point. It could therefore be another tricky day at the officer for Djokovic but he has shown enough in this past week that he is edging closer to the levels he needs to reach to win Grand Slams again. I don't like doing that.

"But it was not easy to go on court recently, I don't know how I managed it". "But at times, it happens".

But Roland Garros has found a new hearthrob in the figure of Alexander Zverev. the young rising German had a five-setter that swung wildly with Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur, and he needed to save a match point on the way to the win.

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