World Number One Novak Djokovic and 16-times Grand-Slam champion Roger Federer have reached the quarter-finals on a dramatic day at the French Open.
Djokovic had to come from two sets against Italian Andreas Seppi to keep his French Open dream alive while Roger Federer had to overcome a plucky performance from Belgian David Goffin to reach the last eight.
Djokovic’s quest for a non-calendar-year grand slam almost came to an abrupt halt when the Serb was stunned as Seppi took the first two sets of the contest. However, Djokovic rallied for an epic 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-5 6-3 triumph over the 22st seed and he will now play either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Stanislas Wawrinka in the last eight.
“I played very badly, but I won thanks to my fighting spirit,” said Djokovic after a 25th successive Grand Slam match victory.
“He was the better player for the first two sets and I was fortunate to come through. But even at two sets down I still believed I could do it and that’s about the only positive I can take. It was one of those days when nothing worked.”
Federer overcame an unexpected challenge from David Goffin to move into the last eight with a 5-7 7-5 6-2 6-4 victory over the young Belgian.
Goffin,21, who was only in in the main draw after the injured Gael Monfils pulled out, threatened an upset with a fine performance in the first set, taking it 5-7. But Federer’s class told as he took the next three sets to progress to his 36th Grand Slam quarter-final, winning 5-7 7-5 6-2 6-4.
“I came out of the qualifiers and I played my best tennis in my first three matches. Then playing Roger was the cherry on the cake,” said 21-year-old Goffin.
“I won t hide the fact that I had photos of Roger everywhere on the walls of my bedroom. It was like a dream for me playing him here.”
Federer also paid tribute to his opponent saying: “I didn t know much about him beforehand, but I know him a lot better now.
Women’s world number one Victoria Azarenka was knocked out of the French Open fourth round on Sunday. Belarussian Azarenka was beaten 6-2 7-6 by Slovakian 15th seed Dominika Cibulkova and must wait to see if Russian Maria Sharapova will claim the top spot.