Sunday, 24 June, 2018

French Open 2018: Novak Djokovic Upset Headlines Tuesday Play at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic tennis results GETTYNovak Djokovic has explained his French Open outburst
Sergio Cook | 06 June, 2018, 03:29

He might want to re-assess, after he downed 12-times major victor Novak Djokovic on Tuesday to become the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in 40 years. As his backhand return on his fourth match point landed beyond the outstretched arm of Djokovic, the tears flowed.

On court, Cédric Pioline, the former French star, started the post-match interview by reassuring Cecchinato, "You're not dreaming".

He was suspended for 18 months by the Italian tennis federation in July 2016 before later being cleared of any wrongdoing. "Obviously it's tough when you lose a match, but that's how it goes".

Grigor Dimitrov intends to temporarily step away from tennis after being eliminated from the third round of the French Open on Friday.

Djokovic, who won his only Roland Garros title in 2016 to complete a career Grand Slam, was not considered among the pre-tournament favourites following an injury-hit year.

Japan's Kei Nishikori, meanwhile, made short work of home hope Gilles Simon as he cruised into the fourth round for the fifth time.

Djokovic, who underwent right elbow surgery earlier this year, is the 20th-seeded player in Paris, his lowest Grand Slam seeding since the 2006 US Open.

Putintseva led Keys 5-3 in their first set before a three-game swing saw the momentum shift, while 10th seed Stephens was more dominant in her run to beat Kasatkina for the second time in their three meetings. Stephens beat Keys in the U.S. Open final last September, and their rematch on Thursday will be the first all-American women's semifinal at the French Open since Serena Williams defeated Jennifer Capriati in 2002.

That Cecchinato would be a semifinal participant was far harder to predict.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic with Spain's Fernando Verdasco after winning their fourth round match.

Cecchinato and Djokovic know each other well: They have practiced together in Monte Carlo, where Cecchinato trains at a tennis academy and Djokovic has a home. I don't know if I'm going to play on grass.

The smash to end it wasn't his only one of the match.

A drop of serve when in position to win the match did not matter for Djokovic, though, as Bautista Agut was broken in the next game, sending him through to a tie with Verdasco.

Cracking winners from the baseline, especially on his stunning one-handed backhand, and carving drop shots into the clay, Cecchinato held his nerve under the most intense pressure to claim the victory of his career. "After then I warmed up and it was better, but yeah, just a pity that I couldn't capitalise on some break points at 4-1 in the fourth set".

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