ROLAND GARROS 2011
Djokovic Passes Gasquet Test
by ATP Staff|
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic overcame a potentially tricky fourth-round opponent with few problems on Sunday as he dismissed French hopeful Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals.
One day after finishing off 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in four sets, Djokovic returned to end World No. 16 Gasquet’s most successful Roland Garros campaign in one hour and 47 minutes. The Serb broke serve once in each of the first two sets to establish a commanding lead, and capitalised on Gasquet’s growing frustrations to break twice in the third set.
The 24-year-old Gasquet lost his 15th consecutive match against Top 2 opposition. The Beziers native was through to the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time after battling past Thomaz Bellucci in four sets on Friday.
Djokovic, also 24, extended his remarkable unbeaten run to 43 matches, having opened the 2011 season with a 41-0 match record, taking in seven tour-level titles. The Belgrade native’s winning streak is third only to Guillermo Vilas (46 matches) and Ivan Lendl (44 matches).
"It’s never easy and I didn’t expect it to be easy, that’s for sure," said Djokovic. "Maybe the score line says differently, but I had to work. The first two sets it was only one break that decided it. We were both winning our service games quite comfortably. Each set I played one really good return service game and that was enough.
"I think I’m playing really well at the moment and today I increased the level from the last match, which makes me even happier. I just want to maintain this level."
Djokovic’s last defeat came in November in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals against Roger Federer, whom he could face in the semi-finals in Paris should he overcome Italian Fabio Fognini in his next match.
Djokovic is bidding to reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros for the third time after losing out to Rafael Nadal at that stage in 2007 and 2008. Should he reach the final for the first time, he would overtake Nadal at World No. 1 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings.