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Djokovic Dismisses Devilder To Reach Round Of 16

Paris, France

Djokovic © Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic will face Andreas Seppi for a quarter-final spot.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic put an end to Nicolas Devilder’s run at Roland Garros, dismissing the French qualifier 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in third-round action Friday night on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Djokovic raced to a 5-0 lead to start the match, and capitalised on seven of his 10 break point opportunities en route to the one hour, 44-minute victory. Devilder had two break point chances late in the third set, but Djokovic held before serving out the match at love.

"Last 15 minutes was very hard, but it was very important for me to finish the match today," admitted Djokovic, who had to wait for Stanislas Wawrinka and Gilles Simon to finish their five-set battle in the preceding match. "I wouldn't like to come back tomorrow and play a few games."

The 32-year-old Devilder, playing in his first major since 2009 at Wimbledon, was appearing in the third round of a major for the first time. After receiving a wild card into the qualifying draw, he did not drop a set in his three qualifying matches and first two main draw matches.

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Djokovic, who is looking to win his fourth straight Grand Slam title, extended his winning streak at majors to 24 matches. He will continue his pursuit of his first Roland Garros title against Italy’s Andreas Seppi, whom he leads 7-0 in the FedEx ATP Head 2 Head series.

The No. 22 seed prevailed against 14th-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in just under three hours to advance to the Round of 16 for the first time in his 29th Grand Slam tournament. Only five other players played more majors before reaching the fourth round.

Seppi, 28, had come to Paris at a career-high No. 25 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, backing up his clay-court triumph at Belgrade in early May with a quarter-final showing at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome (l. to Federer).

"He's been in terrific form," said Djokovic. "He's in the best form I think in his life and won a tournament in Belgrade, so he's very famous in Serbia (smiling). I think half of Serbia will support Seppi because of winning the trophy. No, I'm kidding. 

"He's a good guy and very hard worker and very solid, very solid player on all surfaces, but I think clay is his most preferred. He made some really good wins, last one against Verdasco today. We all know the quality of Verdasco. So I will prepare for that match, as always, wanting to win."

Read Djokovic, Nadal & Fognini In All-New DEUCE

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