Novak Djokovic cruised into an Open Era-record 12th French Open quarter-final with a straight-sets defeat of Fernando Verdasco on Sunday. The 12-time Grand Slam Champion also matched Roger Federer’s record of nine consecutive appearances in the last eight at Roland Garros with a dominant 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.
Djokovic has lost his way since completing a career Grand Slam in Paris two years ago, but he has been looking more like one of the modern-day greats this week after recovering from elbow surgery. The 20th seed from Serbia dominated the Spaniard on Court Philippe Chatrier, beating him for a sixth consecutive time to book a meeting with surprise package Marco Cecchinato.
Fernando Verdasco was no match for Novak Djokovic, who eased into a ninth straight French Open quarter-final. Verdasco made 48 unforced errors and grew increasingly furious with himself as he missed out on a first French Open quarter-final at the 16th attempt. Djokovic roared after saving two break points to hold in a lengthy third game and conjured up a majestic forehand winner in the next to take a 3-1 lead.
The 2016 champion showed plenty of aggression and went a set up when the 30th seed thudded a backhand into the net from the baseline with Djokovic charging forwards.
Verdasco chuntered at himself, towards his box and at the chair umpire as he toiled in the heat, a wild forehand gifting Djokovic a break in the first game of the second set.The former world number one was pegged back at 3-3 when he was broken to love in a poor service game, but Verdasco threw his racket down after he failed to hold in the next.
Djokovic wrapped up the second set with a rasping forehand winner after his opponent was treated for a blister on his right foot and another errant backhand put Verdasco a break down in the first game of the third. Djokovic went a double break up with a flustered Verdasco wilting, the world number 35 packing his bag in a hurry after blasting a forehand long to bow out.