FRENCH OPEN.by Emiliano Naftali
Djokovic surpasses Nadal and becomes the player with the most quarterfinal appearances at Roland Garros
Novak Djokovic breaks the tie he held with Rafael Nadal and becomes the player with the most quarterfinal appearances at the French Open after sweeping Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
Novak Djokovic broke the tie he held with Rafael Nadal and became the player with the most quarterfinal appearances at the French Open after sweeping Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas on Sunday, winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
It was the 17th time Djokovic reached the quarterfinal stage on the red clay of Paris.
The Serbian star also aspires to surpass Nadal in a more prestigious category, that of individual championships in Grand Slam events. Currently, they both lead with 22.
For Djokovic, this total includes two championships at Roland Garros in 2016 and 2021. And he is close to becoming the first man to have at least three trophies in each of the four Slams.
Nadal has won the title in the French capital 14 times, but he was absent from this edition due to a hip injury. The Spanish player underwent arthroscopic surgery on Friday.
Against Varillas, ranked 94th, someone who had never won a Grand Slam match until this tournament and then went on to win three consecutive five-set matches.
The 36-year-old Serbian finished by doubling the count of winners compared to his opponent, 35-15. He made fewer unforced errors. He won 15 of the 17 net points. He had an 80% first serve effectiveness. He capitalized on six out of 12 break point opportunities.
In summary, a straightforward match that didn’t go beyond two sets for Djokovic, who has not dropped a single set in four matches. He had some tense moments with spectators during the past week, but upon winning on Sunday, Djokovic gestured as if wanting to embrace everyone and listened to chants of his nickname in two syllables: «No-le!»
«This has been my best match in the tournament so far,» Djokovic said in the post-match interview.
«This victory comes at the right moment… Tougher matches and greater challenges are coming,» Djokovic said. «But I like how I’m playing and how I feel.»
Khachanov, with a record of 1-8 against Djokovic, reached this stage of a Slam for the fifth time by defeating Italian Lorenzo Sonego 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7), 6-1.