Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Djokovic still battling as he edges past Bautista Agut

Novak Djokovic 'It's a tragedy what Bautista Agut went through' French Open: Novak Djokovic into last 16 at Slam for 43rd time
Isaac Mcdaniel | 06 June, 2018, 01:21

Coverage: Daily live radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, the BBC Sport website and app. The past 12 months have been the most trying of his career with an elbow injury hampering his form. "I had to earn my victory".

He continued to grind away in a topsy-turvy third set, though, with Bautista Agut failing to serving it out as both players were broken three times. I don't feel too exhausted.

DIMITROV BITES THE DUST Grigor Dimi t rov's French Open hopes bit the dust as the fourth seed was outplayed by Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco in the third round, the Bulgarian losing 7-6 (4) 6-2 6-4.

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

But his greater pedigree eventually shone through in a physical encounter on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion smashed his racket into the ground on three occasions after he missed a simple forehand, drawing boos from the crowd.

In the end, however, Djokovic won with something to spare as his pursuit of a 13th Grand Slam title gathered pace.

How do they match up?

The Indian pair was outplayed in straight sets 5-7, 3-6.

Novak Djokovic dropped his first set, and smashed his first racket, at this year's French Open - but still battled through to the fourth round.

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One break of serve was enough for Djokovic to take the opener but Bautista Agut was always competitive and took a second-set tie-break by an 8-6 scoreline to level the match.

'That's the thing I've been doing since a lot of years.

Thankfully, Djokovic regained his composure and held his nerve when the third set went to another tiebreak.

He needed four sets, and two tie breaks, to down the Spaniard.

"I'm very happy about being in the quarter-finals here going the hard way, going the long distance every single time and, you know, showing myself, showing everybody that I can play for as long as I need to".

However, he has never been able to break into the top 10 and has struggled to beat higher-ranked opponents on a regular basis.

"Bautista Agut is a specialist on this surface".

The 30-year-old said he wanted to play to take his mind off his loss. My life is tennis, no? If the ball went over it would be a victor, and I hit the top of the net.

(20) Novak Djokovic bt.

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