ATP Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic tops Khachanov to match Rafael Nadal's record



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ATP Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic tops Khachanov to match Rafael Nadal's record

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is through to his 47th Major quarter-final, defeating Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 23 minutes. The Serb secured the 72nd victory in Paris, advancing into the last eight for the 14th time, matching Rafael Nadal's record set yesterday.

It was their fifth meeting and the fourth triumph for Novak, who will now face Pablo Carreno Busta or Daniel Altmaier in the quarters. Djokovic had 44 winners and 28 unforced errors, fending off seven out of nine break chances and stealing Karen's serve six times to cruise into the next round.

The encounter kicked off under a closed roof on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with heavy rain halting the other courts' action. Firing 15 winners and six unforced errors, Novak felt comfortable on the court in the first set, hitting 15 winners and six unforced errors to clinch opener with a double break.

The Serb forced an error from the Russian for a hold at love in the first game, dominating behind the initial shot in games three and five to keep the pressure on Karen. The Russian made a solid start but had to work hard at 2-3 to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard, fending off two break chances and holding with a forehand winner for 3-3.

Karen was under even more immense pressure at 3-4, with six deuces and three break chances for Novak. Khachanov wasted his chances and got broken after landing a backhand wide, allowing Djokovic to gain momentum and serve for the set.

Out of sudden, Karen broke back when Novak sprayed a volley error at the net, reducing the deficit to 4-5 but hitting a double fault in game ten to hand the set to Djokovic after almost 50 minutes. World no. 1 spoiled his numbers a bit in set number two but it was still enough to keep it safe.

He survived all four break chances at 4-2 and claimed the set with a single break to forge a massive advantage. Djokovic held at 30 in game three with a service winner, breaking Khachanov at 15 to open a 3-1 gap.

Novak Djokovic is through to his 14th Roland Garros quarter-final.

At 2-4, Karen had a massive chance of pulling the break back and extending the set, wasting four break chances as Novak opened a 5-2 gap with a forehand winner.

Khachanov had to play against four set points in the next game, staying calm to erase them and extend the set before Novak closed it with a hold at 15 in game nine. At the beginning of the third set, the Russian wasted two game points and suffered a break after Djokovic's crafty drop shot.

Instead of building on his lead, Novak netted a backhand in game four to suffer a break and bring Karen back to 2-2, offering the crowd on Court Philippe-Chatrier a chance to watch more tennis. From 40-15 in game six, Novak had to play against a break point, firing another drop shot to save it and repelling another to level the score at 3-3.

Karen fended off a break chance in the next one with a well-constructed attack, getting broken on the second after a wild forehand to push Novak 4-3 in front. Djokovic confirmed the break with a backhand winner, leaving Khachanov to serve for staying in the tournament.

The Serb forced an error from the rival to seal the deal with a break, entering the last eight in style and remaining on the title course.