Novak Djokovic elated to enter French Open quarters for the 17th time; attributes success to relentless practice
Novak Djokovic returns to Juan Pablo Varillas at the Philippe-Chatrier Court in Paris yesterday. Pics/AFP
Novak Djokovic reached his 55th Grand Slam quarter-final and record 17th at the French Open on Sunday with a straight-sets win over Juan Pablo Varillas. Djokovic, chasing a third Roland Garros championship and record-setting 23rd men’s Grand Slam title, eased past his 94th-ranked Peruvian opponent, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. The 36-year-old Serb, champion in Paris in 2016 and 2021, will face 11th seed Karen Khachanov for a place in the semi-finals.
Czech Karolina Muchova
8-1 lead over Khachanov
Djokovic holds a commanding 8-1 career lead over the Russian including their only previous meeting at the French Open in 2020. “I had never played my opponent before. I knew he was a clay court specialist and that I had to earn the victory. It was the best I played this week,” said Djokovic after ensuring a 14th successive last-eight spot at the tournament. On his record 17th quarter-final in Paris, he added: “I am very proud of this record. I have put a lot of effort into my game and I am very motivated to continue.”
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Muchova in quarters
Meanwhile, Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic advanced to the last eight of the French Open for the first time on Sunday as she beat lucky loser Elina Avanesyan 6-4, 6-3. The 43rd-ranked Muchova will play 2021 runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a spot in the semi-finals. Her best run at a Grand Slam came when she reached the Last 4 of the Australian Open two years ago.
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