Djokovic cruises into record 12th Roland Garros quarter-final

Fernando Verdasco was no match for Novak Djokovic, who eased into a ninth straight French Open quarter-final.

Twelve-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic   -  Getty Images

Novak Djokovic cruised into an Open Era-record 12th French Open quarter-final with a straight-sets defeat of Fernando Verdasco on Sunday.

The 12-time grand slam champion also matched Roger Federer's record of nine consecutive appearances in the last eight at Roland Garros with a dominant 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.

Djokovic has lost his way since completing a career Grand Slam in Paris two years ago, but he has been looking more like one of the modern-day greats this week after recovering from elbow surgery.

The 20th seed from Serbia dominated the Spaniard on Court Philippe Chatrier, beating him for a sixth consecutive time to book a meeting with surprise package Marco Cecchinato.

Verdasco made 48 unforced errors and grew increasingly furious with himself as he missed out on a first French Open quarter-final at the 16th attempt.

Djokovic roared after saving two break points to hold in a lengthy third game and conjured up a majestic forehand winner in the next to take a 3-1 lead.

The 2016 champion showed plenty of aggression and went a set up when the 30th seed thudded a backhand into the net from the baseline with Djokovic charging forwards.

Verdasco chuntered at himself, towards his box and at the chair umpire as he toiled in the heat, a wild forehand gifting Djokovic a break in the first game of the second set.

The former world number one was pegged back at 3-3 when he was broken to love in a poor service game, but Verdasco threw his racket down after he failed to hold in the next.

Djokovic wrapped up the second set with a rasping forehand winner after his opponent was treated for a blister on his right foot and another errant backhand put Verdasco a break down in the first game of the third.

Djokovic went a double break up with a flustered Verdasco wilting, the world number 35 packing his bag in a hurry after blasting a forehand long to bow out.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN  
Djokovic [20] bt Verdasco [30] 6-3 6-4 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS  
Djokovic – 21/29
Verdasco – 26/48

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Djokovic – 3/0
Verdasco – 3/2

BREAK POINTS WON 
Djokovic – 5/10
Verdasco – 1/5

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE  
Djokovic – 72
Verdasco – 66

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Djokovic – 62/69
Verdasco – 56/54

TOTAL POINTS 
Djokovic – 106
Verdasco – 89