end of recess for Djokovic, Tsitsipas offers his first quarter

Novak Djokovic, qualified for the quarter-finals, has still not lost a set in four matches at Roland Garros.

After three small training sessions as an appetizer (not a set lost and only 15 games dropped), Novak Djokovic officially started his fortnight on Monday, October 5. In the round of 16, the Serbian finally found in Karen Khachanov, seed number 15 in the tournament, an opponent a little more within his reach, despite what the score may suggest (6-4, 6-3, 6- 3).

In a first set which came close to the hour mark, the two players chained the very hung service games. The Russian had to save two break points at 3-2, two more at 4-3 before giving in on the fifth. He made up for lost time in the wake, while the Serbian served to win the first round … The reprieve was short-lived, Djokovic immediately resuming his service to take control of the match.

Between Djokovic and the linesmen, it’s definitely a complicated story. During this first set, his ball once again hit one of them. But this one having hit the head of the unfortunate in full action while the Serbian was at the end of the race, this time he did not experience such a cruel mishap as at the US Open, on September 6, where he had been disqualified in the round of 16 against the Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta for his gesture of humor.

We understand why the world number one said this week that he wanted them to disappear: “The technology is so advanced now that I don’t see why we should rely on linesmen on the court. The only reason to keep them is tradition. And then, without linesmen, there would have been less risk of me doing what I did in New York. “

Khachanov cracked at the start of the 2e round to let Djokovic break away 3-1, then 4-1. Himself in danger on his faceoff, far from his usual standards, the Serbian had to save 4 break points at 4-2 to dampen the ardor of the Russian – despite a few well-inspired shots applauded by his opponent. From then on, frustrated by so many missed opportunities, Khachanov took to the water, as the rain redoubled in the alleys, preventing the other meetings from taking place.

In the 3e set, the Russian quickly fell from 0-2 to 2-2. He even had the opportunity twice to seize the Serbian’s service again at 3-2. Power, length, overflow: Khachanov took the metronome of the circuit at his own game, showing him around the court by unearthing “Djokovician” angles. But the master of the circuit held on, finding his first ball at the last minute and finally got out of the woods.

The duel between the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (above) and the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov came to an end on Monday, October 5 at Roland-Garros (6-3, 7-6, 6-2).
  • Tsitsipas too strong for Grigor

On the center court, in the early afternoon, the aesthetic duel between the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (29) and the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (22), two fans of the one-handed backhand, turned to the caddy benefit.

For their first official confrontation, the two men gave the meager assistance a few shots that would have deserved a 10/10 if tennis distributed artistic marks. Like this blind smash from Dimitrov, or his splits after throwing himself headlong on a forehand from the Greek.

On the other hand, we will not say as much of his colorful outfit, a tribute of his equipment supplier to the Kid of Las Vegas, Andre Agassi. A “fashion faux pas”, as Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, herself a lover of beautiful games and an unconditional supporter of Roger Federer.

The Bulgarian can harbor some regrets. After a first round where Tsitsipas had the ascendancy, the game was completely balanced in the second set. Responding in quick succession, the two men had to decide in the tie-break, and Dimitrov had two balls to tie one inning everywhere. But it was the Greek, more diligent, who had the last word (11-9).

The loss of this set will have had the effect of a blow of bamboo for Dimitrov: he collapsed from the start in the third set, leaving his opponent to take off. Tsitsipas, very solid in the service, will not be caught (6-3, 7-6, 6-2). Finally, the only little warning from the Greek was the call to the doctor after winning the first set for irritation to the left eye.

For the first time in his young career, Stefanos Tsitsipas has passed the stage of the round of 16 at “Roland”, where he stalled last year – after a Homeric match at Lenglen against Swiss Stan Wawrinka, a defeat which has long left its mark.

In the quarterfinals, the number 5 seed in the tournament (and 6e world) will reunite with an old acquaintance, Russian Andrey Rublev (also 22), who beat him in three sets in the Hamburg final ten days ago. The 12e world had to be employed on Monday against the Hungarian Márton Fuscovics, whom he eliminated in four sets: 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also At Roland-Garros, the volleyball servers are nothing but nostalgia
  • Petra Kvitova, as we meet again

The current world number eleven qualified by dominating in two sets (6-2, 6-4) the Chinese Shuai Zhang, 39th player in the world.

It had been a long time since we had seen her at this level in Paris. Eight years exactly. Czech Petra Kvitova will return to the quarter-finals of Roland-Garros for the first time since 2012.

On Monday, the current world number eleven qualified by dominating in straight sets (6-2, 6-4) the Chinese Shuai Zhang, 39e world player. The two-time Wimbledon winner (in 2011 and 2014) won in less than 1 hour 30 minutes. She hasn’t lost a set yet.

She was barely hooked in the second set when Shuai Zhang came back from 5-2 to 5-4. “It was a great battle. She served very well, she plays very aggressively. I’m very happy to have come out of it, even if I couldn’t finish at 5-2 ”, commented the Czech left-hander, who will face the German Laura Siegemund in the next round (66e world), faller of the Spanish Paula Badosa (87e) 7-5, 6-2, for a place in the last square.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here