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Novak Djokovic beaten by Marco Cecchinato in French Open quarter-finals

06 June 2018

"He served for the match and I had to save lots of break points in the fourth and fifth sets".

However, he threw away a 5-2 lead in the fourth set and ended up losing a dramatic tie-break.

The Italian, who has one career title to Djokovic's 68, had never won a match at the majors before this year's French Open.

Elsewhere Alexander Zverev fought a five-set thriller against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur on the Philippe Chatrier court, winning 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 5-7 in a match that lasted three hours and 54 minutes.

'But even so, I still had some time to kind of get into a rhythm, get into a different match, and just didn't happen.

"It was an wonderful, high level match", said Zverev.

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Seeded 20th after a well-documented slump, Djokovic blunted Verdasco's explosive firepower with his signature counter-punching to book an unlikely last-eight date with Marco Cecchinato. "So it's going to be an wonderful challenge for me".

US Open champion Stephens brushed aside Russian Daria Kasatkina to set up a repeat of last year's Flushing Meadows final with fellow American and good friend Keys.

After a good start where he reached the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo and the last-eight in Barcelona, he lost back-to-back matches in Madrid and Rome.

The Serbian has now made the second week at Roland Garros for the last nine years in a row.

Dominic Thiem took advantage of Alexander Zverev's depleted stamina to become the first qualifier for the men's semi-finals, beating the German 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 as the difference in court time at the competition told the story.

The 31-year-old Serb said he did not "want to talk about tennis right now".

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"For me, this is the best moment of my life".

2016 champion Djokovic, in a 12th Roland Garros quarter-final and 40th at the majors, is bidding to reach his 32nd Grand Slam semi-final when he faces world number 72 Cecchinato.

Yet Djokovic won the third set at a canter, and a suddenly frustrated Cecchinato was hit with a point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. "Now I beat David Goffin, (who) is one of the best players in the world".

Will Halep make it third time lucky?

Keys struck 30 winners past a battling Putintseva in an impressive display as she continued her recent revival on clay, having never reached the quarter-finals in Paris before this week.

"Honestly, the (US) Open feels like it was 12 years ago at this point", said Keys, who is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

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"Then once you get to the second week, every match obviously has more nerves, and there's more on the line and all of that".

Novak Djokovic beaten by Marco Cecchinato in French Open quarter-finals