Djokovic, Federer reach quarterfinals in Paris
Paris, France (Sports Network) - Reigning world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and former champion and four-time runner-up Roger Federer were among Sunday's fourth-round winners at the French Open.
But it was no walk in the park for either player on Day 8.
The current Australian Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Djokovic looked to be in trouble early on against Andreas Seppi, but stormed back to take a 4-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 decision over the Italian.
"Well, it's one of those days where you don't feel just nothing is working, you know, really," Djokovic said. "My serve was well. But aside from that, I could not get into the rhythm, you know. I was fighting, and I think because of the fight I won the match."
Djokovic extended his Grand Slam winning streak to 25 matches. The super Serb has reached his 12th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, which puts him into a tie for fourth with Bjorn Borg for the most consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances in the Open Era.
The last time he failed to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam was when he lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber as the No. 4 seed in the third round at Roland Garros in 2009.
Djokovic needs a French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam. He lost to Federer in the semifinals here a year ago, which also brought to an end a 45- match overall winning streak by the Serb.
Djokovic improved to 8-0 all-time against Seppi, who was trying to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Next up for the high-flying Djokovic will be either Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.
The fifth-seeded Tsonga was leading Wawrinka 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 3-6, 4-2 when the match was suspended due to darkness. They will finish on Monday.
The third-seeded former world No. 1 superstar Federer was pushed to four sets for a third straight match, but got past Belgian David Goffin 5-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.
"I thought he played really well. Great impression," Federer said. "He took the ball early every time. Don't hit a very good shot, he can take advantage of that. He's got great potential in terms of his touch and the way he reads the game. I thought it was an interesting match."
The 16-time major titlist Federer captured the French Open in 2009 to complete a career Grand Slam and has been the runner-up to Rafael Nadal here on four occasions, including last year.
Federer will be appearing in his 32nd consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, which is the most consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances in the Open Era. Overall, the Swiss star has advanced to the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam event 36 times. That puts him into a tie for second place with Andre Agassi on the list of most Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances in the Open Era.
Up next for Federer, seeking his first Grand Slam title in more than two years, will be either seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych or former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro.
Del Potro, the No. 9 seed, was leading seventh-seeded Berdych 7-6 (8-6), 1-6, 6-3 when their match was suspended due to darkness. They will also finish on Monday.
In other fourth-round play Monday, Rafael Nadal, who is gunning for a seventh title overall at Roland Garros, will take on Juan Monaco, while Andy Murray will do battle with Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Also, sixth-seeded David Ferrer will square off against Marcel Granollers and Janko Tipsarevic, the No. 8 seed, will play 12th-seeded Nicolas Almagro.