Novak Djokovic reaches 9th French Open quarterfinal in row

Novak Djokovic

American 13th seed Madison Keys also reached her first Roland Garros quarterfinal with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu.

One break of serve was enough to take the opening set and although left-hander Verdasco produced some thunderous winners to stay in touch in the second his challenge faded.

Stephens, the 10th seed, had previously made the fourth round for four successive seasons and will next play either Australian Open champion and second seed Caroline Wozniacki or Russia's Daria Kasatkina.

Former world number one and Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic will meet his toughest opponent in the ongoing French Open so far when he takes on 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the last-32 clash of the men's singles event here on Friday.

"Yeah, it's important for me, obviously, especially considering all the circumstances that I was in in the last 15 months", Djokovic said.

He continued to grind away in a topsy-turvy third set, though, with Bautista Agut failing to serving it out as both players were broken three times.

DIMITROV BITES THE DUST Grigor Dimi t rov's French Open hopes bit the dust as the fourth seed was outplayed by Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco in the third round, the Bulgarian losing 7-6 (4) 6-2 6-4.

Bautista Agut then scored his first win, upsetting Djokovic in the Shanghai semifinals. "I'm not proud of doing that, to be honest".

Djokovic took the first set, a slugfest of deuces which lasted nearly an hour, with a solitary break of serve.

There were six breaks of serve in an erratic set before Djokovic clinched the tie-break shortly after the match clock passed the three-hour mark.

It's no secret that Djokovic's time on-court since his French Open win two years ago hasn't gone to plan as he's battled injuries and worked through multiple coaching changes. "Maybe is a dream, because now I'm very happy for this match", said Cecchinato, the ninth Italian man to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final in the professional era. And when you play against a great champion, you don't have many opportunities.

The world number 13 put the hard circumstances to one side as he focused on beating Djokovic for only the second time in their eight meetings.

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