Djokovic marches into Paris quarter-finals

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic’s impressive Roland Garros form continued on Sunday, as he dismissed Fernando Verdasco in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals.

The former World No 1 has had precious little to get excited about in 2018, but is starting to put together a really impressive run in Paris.

Verdasco is no slouch on clay but was outplayed as Djokovic completed a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory to set up a quarter-final against World No 72 Marco Cecchinato, who upset David Goffin in four sets on Sunday.

Djokovic will no doubt fancy his chances against the Italian, and with a possible semi-final appearance in his sights, he must now be considered a legitimate French Open contender.

Sunday’s scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story, however, as Verdasco was competitive for large parts of the match, only really allowing Djokovic to take control in the third set.

The Spaniard had his moments during the contest, firing 21 winners and earning a number of break points. But he was also frequently his own worst enemy, producing a whopping 48 unforced errors in comparison to Djokovic’s relatively tidy 29.

Verdasco also seemed to be struggling with his physical condition, and at one point had to receive treatment for a blister on the sole of his heavily strapped foot.

Djokovic’s quarter-final opponent Cecchinato was responsible for the day’s biggest upset, knocking out eighth seed Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 to reach the last eight.

The Italian’s run is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he had never won a Grand Slam match before arriving in Paris. The 25-year-old did win his first ATP title as a lucky loser in Budapest earlier this year, though, so he is clearly a player on the up.

Goffin struggled with his game on Sunday, producing an error-ridden and erratic performance, and Cecchinato took full advantage, dispatching the Belgian in just over two and a half hours to keep his incredible Roland Garros run going.

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