French Open: Djokovic pulls off another great escape; de Minaur sends Medvedev packing


Novak Djokovic of Serbia slides at the net for a forehand against Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in the Men’s Singles fourth round match during Day Nine of the 2024 French Open at Roland Garros on June 03, 2024 in Paris, France.
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Novak Djokovic pulled off another astonishing escape as he beat Argentine 23rd seed Francisco Cerundolo in a five-set thriller to reach a 15th consecutive French Open quarterfinal on Monday, June 3, 2024.

The World No. 1 shrugged off an injury to his right knee as he came from two sets to one down to outlast Cerundolo 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 after four hours and 39 minutes.

Victory gave him a record 370th Grand Slam win, eclipsing the mark he had shared with Roger Federer.

Daniil Medvedev suffered a four-set loss to Australia’s Alex de Minaur as his disappointing record at Roland Garros continued. The Russian fifth seed started strongly but slipped to a 6-4, 2-6, 1-6, 3-6 defeat.

Medvedev’s best performance in the French Open remains a quarterfinal run in 2021, while he has also lost in the first round in five of his eight appearances.

“Alex played better,” admitted Medvedev, who doubled-faulted on match point.

de Minaur had never got past the second round before this year, winning just three of 10 matches. But he has improved on clay this season, also reaching a first Masters quarterfinal on the surface in Monte Carlo.

“It’s one of my best Slam results. Looks like I’ve converted myself into a clay specialist,” said de Minaur. He is the first Australian man to reach the French Open last eight since former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in 2004.

Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva became the youngest player to reach the women’s quarterfinals since 2005 by defeating home hope Varvara Gracheva. She downed the Moscow-born Gracheva 7-5, 6-2 to book a last-eight spot at a Grand Slam for the first time.

Aged 17 and 27 days, she is the youngest woman to make the quarterfinal since Bulgaria’s Sesil Karatantcheva achieved the feat at the age of 15.

Andreeva, who has only dropped one set so far, faces a daunting task as she is up against World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka. The latter’s dominant run continued with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Emma Navarro.

“When the sun is out, I play with a lot more happiness,” said Sabalenka, who has yet to drop a set this year. She certainly showed some joy after her fourth-round win over the 22nd-seeded Navarro, displaying disco-inspired dance moves on her way off the court.

The Belarusian, ranked second in the world, is now one win away from her seventh straight Grand Slam semifinal appearance.

In other matches, 12th seed Jasmine Paolini defeated Elina Avanesyan 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 while Elena Rybakina, the fourth seed, got past Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3. Paolini and Rybakina will meet in the quarterfinals.

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