Novak Djokovic advances at French Open after brief second-set stumble


Defending champion Novak Djokovic has reached his record 16th career Roland Garros quarterfinal and could find a familiar foe across the net next: Rafael Nadal.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic quickly recovered from only the slightest of blips at the start of the second set Sunday and went on to a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory over 15th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina at Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Djokovic has won all 12 sets he’s played so far in this year’s tournament and has dropped a total of merely 30 games across the four matches.

He fell behind 3-0 in the second set but grabbed seven games in a row to take that set and a 1-0 lead in the third.

Djokovic has made the quarterfinals in Paris 13 years in a row. He won the title in 2016 and last year, part of his collection of 20 Grand Slam trophies. Only one man has won more — Nadal, with 21.

And if 13-time French Open champion Nadal wins his fourth-round match against Felix Auger-Aliassime later Sunday, the two longtime rivals would meet each other in the quarterfinals. That would be the 59th head-to-head matchup between Djokovic and Nadal, more than any other two men in the professional era of tennis.

Nadal heads into his match against Auger-Aliassime with 15 quarterfinal appearances at Paris.


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