Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Djokovic, Zverev eye semi-finals, USA hope for double

Djokovic, Zverev eye semi-finals, USA hope for double

Former world number one Djokovic will face Italian surprise package Marco Cecchinato in his 40th major quarter-final.

Italy's Marco Cecchinato celebrates after a point against Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their men's singles quarter-final match on day ten of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 5, 2018.

Djokovic won 144 points to Cecchinato's 140 in the end but was surprisingly less effective in the clutch plays, one particular area of his game that seemingly still needs recovery.

The 31-year-old Serb said he did not "want to talk about tennis right now".

Putintseva led Keys 5-3 in their first set before a three-game swing saw the momentum shift, while 10th seed Stephens was more dominant in her run to beat Kasatkina for the second time in their three meetings.

Djokovic was back with his former coach, Marián Vajda, who said Djokovic was not at his best at Roland Garros, but improving.

American 13th seed Madison Keys reached the quarter-finals for the first time with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu. "Because now I need to realize the moment, because I will play the semi-final in Roland Garros".

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Novak Djokovic served for the fourth set at 5-3 but got broken.

Cecchinato, who had never won a Grand Slam match in his career before Roland Garros, goes on to face Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem for a place in Sunday's final.

Like her compatriot and good friend Keys, US Open champion Stephens is in the quarter-finals for the first time and hoping to set up a repeat of last year's final in NY.

The 21-year-old Zverev claimed his third successive comeback win in five sets to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final, beating Russian Khachanov 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. He just held his nerves amazingly well in the important moments.

Keys had always struggled on clay before this year, but has now reached the last eight at all four Grand Slams after impressively cruising through the draw without dropping a set.

"Well, I'm young, so I might as well stay on court, get some practice and entertain you guys", smiled Zverev, who is bidding to become the first German man to win the French Open since 1937.

"I obviously rely on what I learned there and how to manage my emotions and manage the moment, but there were so many late nights and I was so exhausted. Now I beat David Goffin, (who) is one of the best players in the world".

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