Novak Djokovic books 16th Roland Garros quarter-final

French Open
Delight for Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic reached a 16th French Open quarter-final on Sunday after he eased to a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 last-16 victory against 15th seed Diego Schwartzman.

Old rival and 13-time winner Rafael Nadal could be waiting for the Serb in the last eight.

Djokovic bidding to equal Nadal’s record of 21 Grand Slam titles and win back-to-back French Open titles for the first time.

The last man to win at Roland Garros back-to-back who wasn’t Nadal was Gustavo Kuerten back in 2000 and 2001.

“I have a lot of respect for him (Schwartzman). He’s a good person off the court,” said Djokovic.

Schwartzman has suffered defeat all seven times he has met Novak Djokovic and despite making a lively start he never looked like he could cause an upset.

Djokovic is yet to drop a set at the 2022 French Open having cruised through the first week with minimum fuss, supporting the notion that he is the clear tournament favourite.

The World No 1 has also won 22 sets in a row, stretching back to his Masters triumph in Rome in mid-May.

“I’ve made a good start but I have a lot of work to do,” added Djokovic who will face Nadal for the 10th time at Roland Garros and 59th overall if the Spaniard defeats Felix Auger-Aliassime later Sunday.

Another French Open title would draw Djokovic level with the likes of Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander and Kuerten leaving only Nadal and Bjorn Borg ahead of him in terms of Roland Garros men’s singles championships in the open era.

Nadal takes on Auger-Aliassime in an afternoon match on centre court with his uncle in the young Canadian’s corner.

Asked if he would divulge to Auger-Aliassime the secret of how to become just the third man to defeat his nephew at Roland Garros, the 61-year-old coach responded: “Of course not.

“I told Felix that my ethics do not allow me to give him advice on beating my nephew.

“It’s as if I were telling someone how to defeat my own son.” Toni Nadal added.

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