Novak Djokovic showed glimpses of his brilliant best to demolish Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday and book his place in the French Open quarter-finals.

Third seed German Alexander Zverev battled nerves and an erratic serve to beat Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles 7-6 (11), 7-5, 6-3 and move into the last eight.

“I have a lot of respect for him (Schwartzman). He’s a good person off the court,” said Djokovic. “He’s a clay specialist… But I played well and held my serve.”

The world number one is still to drop a set at Roland Garros after cruising through the first week.

The 35-year-old is looking for a third French Open title after securing a second crown last year by defeating Nadal in the semi-finals and coming back from two sets behind to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

Djokovic took his head-to-head record against Argentinian Schwartzman to 7-0 with a clinical display, in which he saved seven of the eight break points he faced.

He is into a 16th French Open quarter-final and has not failed to reach that stage since 2009.

The Serbian star saved two break points in the third game of the match before racing through the opening set.

The second proved to be far more competitive, though, as Schwartzman took a 3-0 lead before being broken back as the top seed reeled off three quick points.

Djokovic had to stave off three break points to level the set at 3-3 and made it five straight games with a gutsy hold after Schwartzman dropped serve again.

A series of blistering baseline shots wrapped up the set, leaving Schwartzman needing to become only the second man to come back from two sets down to win against Djokovic at a Grand Slam.

Schwartzman continued to consistently put Djokovic’s serve under pressure without being able to apply the killer touch, seeing another break point come and go in the fifth game of the third set.

The pattern of the match continued, as Djokovic broke in the very next game to all but end the tie as a contest.

Schwartzman saved a match point in game eight to force Djokovic to serve it out, which he did, to love.

Zverev had to save three set points in the first set and make a comeback from 4-2 down and 15-40 on his own serve in the second while also hitting seven double faults in a rollercoaster performance.

“He was driving me nuts,” Zverev said. “He is one of the fastest players. I felt every return was put on the baseline.”

“We played three sets but we played three hours. He was playing the best tennis of his life, with the crowd supporting him. You can see how hardworking he is.”

The 25-year-old Zverev broke the 131st-ranked Spaniard, who had never made it past round two in a Grand Slam prior to Paris, to charge 4-1 in front.

He looked to be cruising through his fourth round match but dropped his guard to give his opponent the opening he was looking for.

Zverev was 4-1, 40-0 up on his own serve but baseliner Zapata Miralles launched a comeback, dragging the rallies out and battling back to break the German twice before wasting three set points in the tiebreak.

Zverev also squandered three of his own before finally winning it on the fourth opportunity but was again broken at the start of the second set, dropping his racquet to the ground and looking to his player box for answers.

Zapata Miralles had the chance to go 5-2 up but failed to convert any of his break points, allowing Zverev to launch his own comeback and move two sets clear.

The German’s inconsistent served meant he failed to hold any service game until midway through the third set but recovered to win the last three games in a row.

In the wide open women’s event, which saw nine of the top 10 seeds fall before the second week, Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez reached the quarter-finals for the first time. Fernandez, seeded 17th, and who was US Open runner-up last year, fired an impressive 40 winners past 2019 semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova to secure a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win.

The 19-year-old has made the quarter-finals on the back of an impressive 23 service breaks over four rounds at Roland Garros.

The world number 59 from Italy booked her place in the quarter-finals for the second time in three years, edging out Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus 7-6 (12/10), 7-5.

American teenager Coco Gauff reached the last-eight for the second successive year with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Belgium’s Elise Mertens.


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