Paris, Oct 5 (efe-epa).- Novak Djokovic made it to the fourth round of the French Open with victories over opponents who were clearly not at his level, but the Serb dispelled any doubts about his form with a comfortable 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 win Monday against the tournament’s 15th seed, Karen Khachanov of Russia.
The world No. 1 is headed to the quarterfinals of the clay-court Grand Slam event for the 11th straight year and the 14th time in all.
Not even Rafael Nadal, the king of clay, can match Djokovic on that score. While the Spaniard has gotten to the final eight in Paris 14 times, his longest consecutive streak is six years.
Khachanov, who beat Djokovic two years ago in the final of the Paris Rolex Masters, managed to take three successive games after falling behind 0-2 in the third set, but the Serbian rallied to put away the contest.
Djokovic will face a familiar opponent in the quarterfinal, Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busto, who advanced with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 win on Monday against 22-year-old German newcomer Daniel Altmaier, only the fourth player to reach the fourth round in his Grand Slam debut.
The Spaniard was facing Djokovic in a round of 16 match at the US Open a month ago when the Serb was disqualified for inadvertently hitting a line judge with a ball.
Making the most of that opportunity, Carreño went on to reach the semis at Flushing Meadows before falling to Alexander Zverev in five sets.
Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece defeated Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov earlier Monday to book his spot in the quarterfinals of the French Open.
Tsitsipas, 22, became the first Greek player to reach the last eight at Roland Garros with the 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-2 win.
He will take on Russian 12th seed Andre Rublev, who dispatched Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(3) to set up a repeat of the recent final of the German Open in Hamburg, which Rublev won.
The 22-year-old Moscow native will be making his third appearance in the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam tournament, after reaching the last eight at the US Open in 2017 and again this year.
In the women’s draw, Czech seventh-seed Petra Kvitova secured her place in the quarterfinals, comfortably beating China’s Shuai Zhang 6-2, 6-4 in less than 90 minutes.
The victory means the 2014 Wimbledon champion, now 30, will return to the WTA’s top 10 ranking.
Kvitova is hoping for an improvement on her performance at Roland Garros in 2012, when she reached the last four.
To do so, she will have to make it past German veteran Laura Siegemund, who beat Spain’s Paula Badosa 7-5, 6-2 on Monday.
Russian-born US player Sofia Kenin, the fourth seed, outlasted France’s Fiona Ferro 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals, where she will meet the winner of Tuesday’s clash between Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur and American Danielle Collins.
Zverev, who was eliminated Sunday by Jannik Sinner, made news Monday by announcing that he tested negative for Covid-19.
The German was visibly ill during the match and acknowledged later that he had a fever beforehand.
“Wanted to update everyone that I have again tested negative for COVID. I wasn’t 100% yesterday and will take a few days now to recover,” Zverev wrote Monday on Instagram. EFE lmpg/ks-dr