Paris | Djokovic v Ruud and Zverev v De Minaur complete the QF line-up

Another long day at Roland Garros as the last four matches in the fourth round were played out with the winners progressing into the quarter finals and establishing with Sunday’s winer, the last eight main contenders for this season’s French Open title.

At one point I didn’t know, to be honest, whether I should continue or not with what’s happening Novak Djokovic

Amongst those winners, Novak Djokovic, the defending champion had to dig deep as he was taken to five sets and, having survived a five-setter in the previous round as well, his fitness is now under question as he picked up an injury mid-match before eventually recording his 6-1 5-7 3-6 7-5 6-3 victory after battling with Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo for four-hours, 39-minutes.

Having successfully recovered from a two-sets to one deficit, his win set an all-time record of 370 Grand Slam victories as he reached his 59th quarter final at a slam.

Djokovic cruised in the opening set and then admitted on court he “screwed up” his right knee early in the second. The Serb received treatment at which point the Argentine took over, taking the second and then building a 4-2 lead in the fourth.

However, as regularly happens when Djokovic picks up some form of injury and takes on pain-killers, his form returns miraculously – his movement was fluid, his power deadly as was his accuracy to storm back winning 11 of the last 15 games and avoid what looked like an inevitable upset.

“I started feeling the pain [in set two] and asked for the physio treatment and the medical timeout and tried to take care of it,” Djokovic said. “It did disrupt me, definitely in play. For two sets, two sets and a half, I didn’t want to stay in the rally too long. Every time he would make sudden drop shots or change directions, I would not be feeling comfortable to do the running.

“At one point I didn’t know, to be honest, whether I should continue or not with what’s happening.”

The 37-year-old Djokovic had been forced to play a late third-round match on Saturday which lasted four hours and 29-minutes and didn’t finish until 3.05 am the following Sunday morning, so it wouldn’t be surprising if his body wasn’t feeling stretched,

“I didn’t feel that the last match has affected me so much that I’m unable to run or to sustain the level I played for over four-and-a-half hours,” said Djokovic. “It was longer than the match against Musetti. So physically I’m OK. Thankfully I was able to recover quickly.”


Casper Ruud gets another chance at the defending champion

Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)

On Wednesday Djokovic will face two-time finalist Casper Ruud in a repeat of last year’s final after the Norwegian defeated Taylor Fritz 7-6(6) 3-6 6-4 6-2.

Ruud is back into his third straight French quarterfinal and currently holds a 16-2 win-loss record in Paris. Though he lost to Djokovic last year in the final he has recorded a win over the Serb in the Monte Carlo Masters semifinal.

Alex de Minaur advanced to his first French Open quarterfinal ousting the world No.5 Daniil Medvedev in what could be described as the upset of the day. The Australian won 4-6 6-2 6-1 6-3 using his speed to great effect.


Alex de Minaur upset tye world No.5

. (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

“Alex played better,” Medvedev said. “To be honest, I’m disappointed to lose, but I don’t have anything to tell myself in a tough way like I was not a good attitude today or I was not fighting until the end. I did all of this. He played better. My best was not enough today, so looking forward to the next ones.”

Into his second Slam quarterfinal, the Aussie will take on Alexander Zverev who rallied past Holger Rune 4-6 6-1 5-7 7-6(2) 6-2.

It was Zverev’s second 5-setter of the event and on Monday night it ended at 1.40am, the second latest finish ever at the French Open after Djokovic’s win over Musetti in the previous round.

“What a match. Holger is an unbelievable player, a young talent. Credit to him, he’s been playing unbelievable tennis this week,” Zverev said.

“I’m lucky to be through. I’m proud to be in the quarte -finals. I’ve played a lot over the last three days, so I need to recover because I want to continue in this tournament.”


Alexander Zverev is very much on a roll in Paris

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


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