• Sports - Tennis - Gossips
  • Updated: June 06, 2023

Djokovic Fends Off Khachanov To Reach Semi-Finals At Roland Garros

Djokovic Fends Off Khachanov To Reach Semi-Finals At Roland

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is two wins away from a  23rd and record-breaking Grand Slam title after crushing Karen Khachanov in Tuesday's quarter-final match. 

The Serb sealed a comfortable 4-6 7-6(0) 6-2 6-4 quarter-final triumph on Court Philippe-Chatrier in three-hours and 38-minutes.

Djokovic earlier made a sluggish start to his 23rd Grand Slam title bid, losing the first set and not earning a breakpoint in the opening two sets.

However, the two-time Roland Garros champion raised his level spectacularly from the second-set tie-break which set the tone for the rest of the match.

He converted four of his eight break points across the third and fourth sets, and finished the match having outhit his 11th-seeded opponent by 57 winners to 38 overall.

“I think he was the better player for most of the [first] two sets,” said Djokovic in his on-court interview. 

“I was struggling to find my rhythm. I made a lot of unforced errors and came into the match quite slow, quite sluggish. 

"But I played the perfect [second-set] tie-break, really, and from that moment I played a couple of levels higher than I did at the beginning.

“[There was] a little bit of a scare towards the end of the fourth set, but I managed to win eight points in a row to finish it off. 

"It’s a big fight. It’s something that you expect in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. 

"You’re not going to have your victories handed over to you. 

"You’ve got to earn them, so I’m just glad to overcome the big challenge of today.”

The victory is another demonstration of Djokovic’s ability to stay the course at the grandest stages even when losing a set.

He did it against Marton Fucsovics in the second round and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round before prevailing in straight sets with his best tennis for the latter stages.

His next opponent in the final four will be Carlos Alcaraz or fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, both of whom will be in action this evening. 

It will take an opponent as strong as Alcaraz to prevent him from lifting a record 23rd major title this fortnight in Paris since 14-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal is missing in action due to a persisting hip injury.

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