Tennis

Novak Djokovic facing first test in Alexander Zverev at this year's French Open

AP

Novak Djokovic is into his record 10th consecutive French Open quarterfinal, something not even King of Clay Rafael Nadal has managed to do.

And Djokovic is yet to be challenged at all this year at Roland Garros. Not only hasn’t he lost a set — he’s only twice ceded as many as four games in a set.

Extending his Grand Slam winning streak to 25 matches and closing in on a fourth championship in a row, Djokovic was dominant yet again in the fourth round Monday, beating 45th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

“Everything is coming together beautifully. I’m motivated to fight for the trophy, yes. I mean, that’s why I’m here,” said Djokovic, who owns 15 Slam titles, including one in Paris. “But it’s still a long way to go.”

It’s helped, certainly, that the No. 1-ranked Djokovic has not needed to deal with a single seeded foe yet. That will change now: He faces No. 5 Alexander Zverev for a spot in the semifinals.

Have things been too easy so far? Is it possible that Djokovic hasn’t had the proper preparation for what could be tougher going in the latter portion of the tournament?

“I don’t mind cruising along, to be honest,” he said with a smile. “I have plenty of experience, I think, dealing with situations where you’re facing break points or where it’s tense. I have played plenty of, I think, tight matches in my career, that I can rely on that experience.”

Zverev reached his second straight quarterfinal in Paris by coming back to eliminate No. 9 Fabio Fognini 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

He’s only 22, but Zverev has been touted as a future champion for quite some time.

The other quarterfinal on their half of the draw Wednesday will be No. 4 Dominic Thiem against No. 10 Karen Khachanov, who got past 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to make it to the final eight for the first time at a major.

Thiem advanced by eliminating the last Frenchman in the field, No. 14 Gael Monfils, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.