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Comeback king Zverev and Djokovic into French Open quarters

08 June, 2018, 07:22 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Alexander Zverev celebrates his five-set victory against Karen Khachanov

After that, Novak Djokovic will play against Marco Cecchinato, who is having an fantastic year so far having won his first ATP title in Budapest in April and having reached a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time in his career.

The talent of Zverev has never been in doubt, but questions were rightly asked over the past 12 months of how much belief he possessed at the crunch moments on the sport's biggest stage.

Alexander Zverev described the code violation he received during a five-set French Open thriller with Karen Khachanov as "ridiculous" and "nonsense".

These hurdles have finally been overcome, but Zverev has had to dig deep. Zverev's best is his backhand, a two-hander which though not as versatile nor as useful defensively as the likes of Djokovic's, Murray's and Nishikori's, is struck just about harder than anyone else's.

He will next face Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem, who reached a third successive quarter-final in Paris by seeing off Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.

Despite calling on a trainer to treat blisters on his left toes before the start of the fifth set, the world No. 3 zipped around easily to break in the opening game of the decider and finished off the 38th-ranked Russian after 31/2 hours.

"It's going to be a very tough match against him". Thiem called their upcoming quarterfinal "the matchup most fans in Germany and Austria were hoping for when they saw the draw".

The 24-year-old, back-to-back semi-finalist at Roland Garros, raced through the opening two sets easily as Nishikori recorded 16 unforced errors and struggle and was put on the back foot by Thiem's greater baseline aggression.

She clinched the victory on her first match point with a forehand victor from the baseline.

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Austrian Thiem reached the last four at Roland Garros yet again thanks to an emphatic 6-4 6-2 6-1 victory over the second-seeded German on Court Philippe Chatrier.

"But I hope I can win more matches here". Their match was suspended at 3-3 in the second set. Cecchinato next faces Austrian Dominic Thiem for a place in Sunday's final.

The 98th-ranked Putintseva was trying to become the first player from Kazakhstan to advance to a Grand Slam semifinal. The Serbian will meet Italian underdog Marco Cecchinato as the latter shocked eighth-seeded David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.

"I think for me it's time to move on to make a great step, because I'm turning 25" in September, said Thiem.

The 2017 US Open runner-up beat Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to advance to the last-four.

"I didn't win it today, but it's a positive sign", said Khachanov.

Then, in a blur, Zverev won the next four points to give himself a set point - only to miss a smash from near the back of the court.

In women's singles, 13th-seeded Madison Keys and fellow American Sloane Stephens reached the quarter-finals for the first time at Roland Garros.

In the women's quarterfinals, No. 10 Sloane Stephens beat No. 14 Daria Kasatkina of Russian Federation 6-3, 6-1, and No. 13 Madison Keys eliminated unseeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 7-6 (5), 6-4.


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