*** ----> Djokovic reaches French Open last 16 | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Djokovic reaches French Open last 16

AFP | Paris

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com    

Novak Djokovic battled into the French Open fourth round for a 14th consecutive year yesterday, after women’s third seed Jessica Pegula and seventh-ranked Andrey Rublev were dumped out of the tournament.

Djokovic has made headlines for his comments about Kosovo this week but his on-court progress has been relatively serene, reaching the second week without dropping a set.

The Serb star was made to work hard by Spanish 29th seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who served for the first set and missed a set point in the second, but won 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

“A win is a win, maybe a bit too much -- the first two sets,” said Djokovic. “I thought if I lost the second set we would play five hours today, but I’m proud of the performance.”

Two-time champion Djokovic, who has also made the French Open quarter-finals in each of the past 13 years, will take on either Polish 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz or Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas in the last 16.

The 36-year-old is hoping to break out of his tie with injured rival Rafael Nadal at the top of the men’s all-time list of major winners at Roland Garros.

He is just one title behind Serena Williams’ mark of 23 Slams and two adrift of Margaret Court’s overall record. Djokovic has now won three of his four matches with Davidovich Fokina.

The first two sets lasted two hours and 47 minutes, as Davidovich Fokina provided a stern test of Djokovic’s form.

But the world number three broke when he trailed 6-5 in the opening set before overturning a 3-1 deficit to win a tie-break.