Cecchinato ‘amazed’ after stunning Djokovic in French Open epic

Cecchinato ‘amazed’ after stunning Djokovic in French Open epic

Cecchinato ‘amazed’ after stunning Djokovic in French Open epic

I just came from the court.

He came up against an inspired Cecchinato though and wasted three set points to drag the match, played out in a soccer-like atmosphere on Court Suzanne Lenglen, into a decider.

But the Russian sealed the set at the third time of asking, leaving the world number three needing a fightback for the third consecutive match.

Resurgent former champion Novak Djokovic reached the French Open quarter-finals for the 12th time on Sunday as he subdued feisty Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco 6-3 6-4 6-2.

"I had a lot of courage, especially toward the end of the tiebreaker", Cecchinato said.

The 21-year-old played some stunning tennis in the closing stages of a dramatic 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 fourth-round victory and will next face 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. I don't know what I'm going to do.

From that point there was no way back for the Spaniard, who was aiming to reach his first Roland Garros quarter-final at the 15th attempt. For me to beat Djokovic in a quarter-final at Roland Garros it's fantastic.

Djokovic, who came to Paris with his lowest seeding since 2006 after a hard past 12 months in which he has dealt with an elbow injury, had begun to look like his old self at Roland Garros - dropping just one set en route to the last eight.

"I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to do. It's fantastic", said the 25-year-old who is the first Italian to get this far at a Slam since Corrado Barazzutti at Roland Garros in 1978.

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The 10th seed produced a clinical performance to down Kasatkina 6-3, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier, firing 17 winners.

How much prize money can each player earn at Roland Garros?

"I won my last match against Dominic Thiem, I think it was in the final of a Future (third tier) tournament", he joked.

His hunger for the fight was clear for all to see too against Cecchinato in a thrilling tiebreak - the Serb roaring to the crowd, who chanted "Djoko Djoko" at crucial moments.

The 36-year-old 23-times Grand Slam victor, returning to the game after maternity leave this year, was unable to play due to a pectoral muscle injury.

Stephens will face Keys in an all-American battle for a spot in the French Open final.

"Honestly, the (US) Open feels like it was 12 years ago at this point", said Keys, who is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

"So being and talking like this after the match is for me something normal for a great champion". "It feels completely different here".

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