Novak Djokovic defeated Karen Khachanov in straight sets to make the French Open quarter-finals for the 11th consecutive year on Monday while Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev set up a rematch of the recent Hamburg Open final .
Top seed and 2016 champion Djokovic won 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 against Russian 15th seed Khachanov to draw level with Rafael Nadal on a record 14 quarter-final appearances in Paris.
Djokovic faced his toughest assignment so far but Khachanov was unable to derail his bid to become the first man in half a century to win all four Grand Slam titles twice.
The Serb hit 44 winners and has yet to drop a set in the tournament, losing only 25 games in four rounds. He improved his record in 2020 to 35 wins against just one loss.
“It was a very even match, perhaps more difficult than the result showed,” said Djokovic, who is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title.
The world No 1 will face Pablo Carreno Busta, the man who benefited from Djokovic’s US Open disqualification, for a spot in the last four after the Spaniard swept German qualifier Daniel Altmaier aside in three sets: 6-2, 7-5, 6-2.
Fifth seed Tsitsipas overcame an eye problem to become the first Greek man to reach the last eight of the French Open with a 6-3, 7-6 (11/9), 6-2 win over Grigor Dimitrov.
He has now won 12 successive sets at the tournament having been two sets down to Jaume Munar in the opening round.
Rublev, the 13th seed, also advanced to the quarter-finals for the first time after battling past Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 6-7 (4/7), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).
In a match which featured 12 breaks of serve, the 22-year-old Rublev had been a break down in the second and third sets. He also had to save three set points in the fourth.
“I knew it would be tough,” said Rublev who arrived in Paris having reached his second US Open quarter-final last month.
“I had a little bit of luck today. There was a lot of wind so you are going to lose your serve a lot in those conditions.”
Their clash will be a rematch of the Hamburg Open final, which was played on the Sunday that French Open began thanks to the pandemic-interrupted calendar.
With AFP Inputs