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Bautista Agut: 'I was at the same level as Novak Djokovic'

06 June, 2018, 01:22 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Novak Djokovic

Second seed Alexander Zverev also survived a scare as he saved match point in a five-set triumph against Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur. "I had to earn my victory".

Spaniard Verdasco had earlier demonstrated his class on clay with a straightforward win over disillusioned fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Novak Djokovic lives to fight another day at the French Open after a hard-fought third round match against Roberto Bautista Agut, in an occasionaly testy encounter during which the Serb shattered a raquet in anger after fluffing an easy victor.

Djokovic eased past Spanish veteran Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 and will play in the last eight at Roland Garros for a record 12th time.

When he missed a simple forehand during the second-set tie-break, Djokovic pounded his racket against the ground before stomping off to unwrap a new one.

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He won the last of his 12 Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros two years ago.

But it was Djokovic who attracted much of the interest, marching into the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the 43rd time, second on the all-time list behind Roger Federer.

And he again experienced a range of emotions - delight, disappointment, anger - at Roland Garros in an epic match which ended with two tired players smiling as they hugged at the net. "I'm not proud of that, to be honest".

"For me it's a dream, I'm really, really happy", Sicilian Cecchinato, who rallied from two sets down in the first round against Marius Copil, said on court.

The former champion found himself a break down in the third set to the Spaniard, but staged a strong response to secure his place in the next round. So they don't ask players whether - you know, we are the ones who are playing and sliding and not sliding, so we can give them the most important feedback.

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Djokovic and Bautista Agut have met seven times so far over the course of their careers and it is Djokovic who has dominated the rivalry, winning six of those matches.

"My life is tennis so I'm used to going inside the court and forgetting about my real life", he said.

The Bosnian's touch was phenomenal and saw him turn the match on its head after Zverev had hit 10 winners as he won the opening set. Verdasco, the seventh time reaching the second week at Roland Garros - in the match with Djokovic, Fernando will compete for his first quarterfinal in Paris.

The world number 13 put the hard circumstances to one side as he focused on beating Djokovic for only the second time in their eight meetings.

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