Comeback king Zverev and Djokovic into French Open quarters
06 June, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
After losing a point during the tiebreaker in the second set, Djokovic angrily whacked his racket into the clay.
Djokovic, seeded 20th as he continues his return from an elbow injury, was visibly angry in the second set, which he lost on a tie-break.
Djokovic made his feelings on the defeat clear in the post-match press conference, giving short answers primarily in his native Serbian tongue.
Meanwhile, another potential contender for the French Open title, German Alexander Zverev survived a scare from Damir Dzumhur before finally coming through with a 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 victory, spending nearly four hours on court.
"I just could never turn it around out here. Maybe it's a dream, because now I'm very, very happy for this match", said Cecchinato.
In a nail-biting tiebreaker, Djokovic saved the first match point with a no-look backhand volley before throwing away his third set point with a ballooned forehand with the court at his mercy.
"I know how to handle a Grand Slam now, how... to get that deep in such a tournament, and I think everything gets better with experience". Stephens, last season's US Open champ, is in the midst of a rebound after getting bounced in the first round of this year's Australian Open.
"He is one of the fittest guys on the tour so it was hard for him today", said Thiem, the only man to have defeated 10-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal on clay this year. For me to beat Djokovic in a quarter-final at Roland Garros it's wonderful.
Cecchinato said he was stunned by his triumph, coming just two years after his career was nearly derailed when he became embroiled in match fixing allegations.
Next up for the Sicilian is Austrian Thiem, the last man to beat claycourt master and 10-times French Open champion Rafa Nadal on his favourite surface. 'Obviously I really expected to play better on clay. He won the tie with a comprehensive score-line of 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-4.
The Serb raised his level to win the third 6-1 in just 27 minutes as he clawed his way back into the quarter-final and then called for the trainer again after reducing his deficit, this time to receive treatment on his right leg.
The 23-year-old Svitolina, who trains at Roland Garros and was a quarter-finalist in 2015 and 2017, had been tipped as one of the potential winners for the second year in a row after winning the Italian Open, but she never found her groove.
"To be able to win that first set and get ahead was crucial".
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