world no. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Diego Schwartzman for the seventh time in as many meetings to reach the Roland Garros quarterfinals. Thus, the Serb advanced to his 16th Roland Garros quarterfinal and 13th consecutive since 2010.
Djokovic became the fourth player with 16 quarterfinals at a single Major after Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The Argentine challenged the Serb in Paris five years ago, winning two sets to one before falling in five sets.
He couldn’t repeat that this year, as Novak notched a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 triumph in two hours and 15 minutes. Djokovic defended seven of eight break points to keep the pressure on the other side. Novak took over half of the return points and converted them on six breaks of 11 chances.
Djokovic had a similar number of winners and unforced errors, and Schwartzman couldn’t keep up with that pace after counting nearly 50 unforced errors. They stayed close to each other at the longest rallies. Novak took charge of the shortest and medium exchanges to control the pace and set up a blockbuster quarterfinal clash against Rafael Nadal.
Novak Djokovic made it to his 16th Roland Garros quarterfinal.
Djokovic saved a couple of break chances in the third game of the opener to avoid an early setback. He broke to 15 in the next one after a loose forehand from the opponent and carved out the lead.
Pushing hard on the return, the Serb converted the fourth break chance in game six after the Argentinian’s double fault to open a 5-1 gap and serve for the set. Djokovic fell for a service winner to close out the opener 6-1 in 35 minutes and gain momentum.
Schwartzman broke in the second game of the second set after a forehand error from Djokovic and brought the next one home to open up a 3-0 lead. The defending champion clinched a break in the fifth game with a forehand winner and erased three break points in the next to clinch the result at 3-3.
With momentum on his side, Novak broke at love a few minutes later after Diego’s wayward forehand to move on. Losing ground in those moments, Schwartzman broke for the third straight time at 3-5 after a forced error and allowed Djokovic to rattle off six straight games and carve out a massive lead.
Novak fended off a break chance in the fifth game of the third set and made a crucial break in the next after Diego’s loose backhand. The Argentine saved a match point in game eight after the Serb’s bad backhand to prolong his chances before Novak emerged on top with a love point at 5-3.