Zverev Survives Another Five-Set Test, Goffin Loses, Djokovic, Thiem Move on at Roland Garros
(June 3, 2018) World No. 3 Alexander Zverev survived a third straight five-set match to move into his first major tournament quarterfinal when he beat 38th-ranked Karen Khachanov of Russia 4-6, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the fourth round of Roland Garros on Sunday.
“I’m very happy about being in the quarterfinals here, going the hard way, going long distance every single time and showing myself, showing everybody, that I can play for as long as I need to,” said Zverev.
The best that the 21-year-old German had ever done at a major was the fourth round at Wimbledon last year. He is now the youngest French Open quarterfinalist since Juan Martin Del Potro in 2009.
“I’m happy. But this is not the end. This is the quarterfinals. It’s not (Finals)Sunday.”
Zverev will face off against Austria’s Dominic Thiem, the seventh seed, in the elite eight. Thiem, the seed stopped 19th seed Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4. Thiem is in the quarterfinals for the third straight year.
2016 French Open winner Novak Djokovic reached a record -breaking 12th Roland Garros quarterfinal, beating No. 30 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Rafael Nadal can equal the mark on Monday with a win.
The victory was also Serb’s 200th match-win on clay.
“I’m just taking it one match at a time, and right now, considering I played almost four hours in my last match, I felt pretty good physically today,” said the 12-time major winner Djokovic. “I had no problems to go the distance in long rallies and I won in the three sets against a player who is in form, especially for this surface. So that’s all positives for now.”
The upset of the day went to Italy’s Marco Cecchinato, ranked No. 72 in the world. Before entering Paris he had no match wins in major tournaments, and now he has won four in a row.
The Italian notches a 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over eighth-seeded David Goffin. He is now the lowest-ranked man to make the final 8 of the French Open.
“For me, this is the best moment of my life,” he said. “Maybe is a dream, because now I’m very, very happy for this match.”
Cecchinato will play his sometimes-practice partner in Monte Carlo Novak Djokovic next.
“So is totally different from practice and to the match,” he said.
“For me is amazing. Is a pleasure playing against Novak in quarterfinal at Roland Garros.”