Novak Djokovic stunned by 72nd-ranked Marco Cecchinato at French Open 2018
06 June, 2018, 03:29 | Author: Alyssa Little
Men's second seed Alexander Zverev survived a scare as he had to save a match point before beating Damir Dzumhur on Friday to reach the fourth round of the French Open.
It was hard to discern which was less likely: that 12-time major champion Novak Djokovic would falter in his French Open quarterfinal or that Marco Cecchinato, who never won a Grand Slam match until last week and once faced a possible ban for losing on objective, would rise to the occasion.
Djokovic was sent spinning out of the French Open by world number 72 Marco Cecchinato.
Keys, the US Open runner-up previous year, will face either Czech 26th seed Barbora Strycova or Yulia Putintseva, the 98th-ranked Kazakh, for a place in the semi-finals. No. 10 Sloane Stephens finds herself up against No. 14 Daria Kasatkina, who lost some rest after Sunday's match was postponed in the second set due to darkness.
American 13th seed Madison Keys also reached her first Roland Garros quarter-final with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu.
"For me, it's the first time semi-final grand slam".
Djokovic won 144 points to Cecchinato's 140 in the end but was surprisingly less effective in the clutch plays, one particular area of his game that seemingly still needs recovery.
Cecchinato struggled to comprehend his triumph, coming just two years after his career was nearly derailed when he became embroiled in match-fixing allegations.
A year later, Cecchinato was suspended for 18 months and fined €40,000 by the Italian tennis federation for illegal behaviour.
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In an epic fourth-set tie-break, Djokovic saved three match points but wasted three set points as Cecchinato became the lowest-ranked man to make the last four in Paris since 100th-ranked Andrei Medvedev in 1999.
"To be able to win that first set and get ahead was crucial".
Even though he trails Thiem in their head-to-head, he won their most recent meeting on clay in the Madrid final this year.
The Serbian needed lengthy treatment on a neck problem after dropping the first set.
Djokovic refused to enter the main press room at Roland Garros after his shock defeat, instead opting to speak to a few journalists in a smaller room where he offered nothing but short answers.
Dimitrov said Verdasco had played a "stunning match" but it could have been different if the first set had gone his way. He just held his nerves amazingly well in the important moments. The frustration of conceding a set point was clearly evident on the face of the 12-time Grand Slam champion as he smashed his racket thrice.
Keys has been playing terrific tennis throughout her campaign at this year's French Open and maintained a pristine record with her 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over Putintseva.
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The three-time French Open champion and 23-time Grand Slam victor will next take on Australia's Ash Barty in the second round. In September 2017, Williams gave birth to her daughter , Alexia Olympia Ohanian Jr with husband Alexis Ohanian .
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