Novak Djokovic vs Fernando Verdasco, French Open 2018 fourth round

Novak Djokovic French Open Rafael Nadal

In other matches, Dominic Thiem made it to a third straight French Open semifinal after swatting aside second-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.

Cecchinato got off to a great start, as he forced the first break to take a 3-1 lead.

Djokovic had his neck massaged during the opening set and called the trainer again after reducing his deficit, this time to receive treatment on his right leg.

In a nail-biting tiebreaker, Djokovic saved the first match point with a no-look backhand volley before throwing away his third set point with a ballooned forehand with the court at his mercy.

Djokovic roaredafter 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.

Both players received warnings for coaching as the tension increased with Cecchinato managing to stay with Djokovic and producing some winning drop shots.

Djokovic had also squandered three set points in the second set and failed to serve out the fourth in the ninth game after being 5-2 in front. However, it was Cecchinato who showed more composure to take it 7-4. I mean, he was better player in the third set, for example, and it was supposed to go his way. he was serving for it.

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Djokovic, the 2016 French champion and 12-times Grand Slam victor, awaits. His quarterfinal match with Marco Cecchinato may answer that question. He had a chance to break at 5-5, but Djokovic managed to dig deep to hold.

But the German gathered himself, taking a tie-break as the momentum swung back in his favour.

The second round was Argentina's lucky loser Marco Trungelliti who became his own worst enemy by having many double faults and almost twice less points won than Cecchinato who takcled him big time.

Playing at his lowest ranking for nearly 12 years after months of struggling with an elbow injury and indifferent form, Djokovic has made the last eight by dropping just one set.

Thiem boasts being the only player to have defeated Rafael Nadal on clay prior to Roland Garros this year in the Madrid quarter-finals, ending the 10-time French Open champion's 21-match winning streak on clay. This time the Italian did capitalise as he finally claimed the tie-break 13-11.

You know those things or people that stir really awful memories in you, and you'd rather just avoid them?

Cecchinato, a frequent training partner for Djokovic at his base in Monte Carlo, was banned by the Italian Tennis Federation for 18 months in 2016 for match fixing.

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