© Peter Staples/ATP World Tour

Alexander Zverev will try to match his best Grand Slam result on Friday at Roland Garros.

Zverev, Djokovic Lead Roland Garros Fourth-Round Hopefuls

Dimitrov-Verdasco, Goffin-Monfils also on Friday's docket

You have to wonder, somewhere deep inside Alexander Zverev's head, was there a doubt swirling around, saying “Here we go, again?”

Zverev has won three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles but never reached the quarter-final of a Grand Slam. And during his second-round match on Wednesday at Roland Garros, the 21-year-old fell behind two sets to one against Serbian Dusan Lajovic, who has been playing fine clay-court tennis, having reached the quarter-finals at the Mutua Madrid Open.

At the Australian Open, Zverev was in a similar spot, and faded. He led two sets to one against reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung, but lost the last two 3-6, 0-6.

On Wednesday, however, perhaps Zverev turned a corner. The German came back to beat Lajovic 2-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. “I know if I'm doing the right things and if I do the right work I'll win those long matches, and the success will come itself. This is not something I think of on a daily basis,” Zverev said.

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Can he keep it going and reach the fourth round in Paris for the first time and match his best Grand Slam result (Wimbledon 2017)? The 21-year-old will face two-time ATP World Tour titlist Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The scrappy 5'9” Dzumhur survived a five-setter against Radu Albot of Moldova to make the third round, tying his best Grand Slam result. Dzumhur is 0-4 in third-round matches at Grand Slams.

Watch: Born Into War, Dzumhur's Inspirational Journey To ATP Titlist

Novak Djokovic, 2016 champion, hasn't dropped a set thus far in Paris, but will face his toughest test yet when he meets 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut for the eighth time. Djokovic leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 6-1, including all three matchups on clay. But the Spaniard beat Djokovic on a big stage, during the semi-finals of the Rolex Shanghai Masters in 2016.

Djokovic is trying reach the Round of 16 in Paris for the 12th time. If he does, it will mark his 43rd journey to a Grand Slam fourth round, and he will join Jimmy Connors in second place for the most fourth-round appearances at Grand Slam championships in the Open Era.

Most Grand Slam Round of 16 Appearances (Open Era)

Player

No. of appearances

Roger Federer

60

Jimmy Connors

43

Novak Djokovic

42

Andre Agassi

42

Ivan Lendl

42

Rafael Nadal

39

Grigor Dimitrov's path to his first Roland Garros Round of 16 becomes only harder on Friday. The fourth seed meets Spain's Fernando Verdasco, who has beaten Dimitrov twice, including earlier this year at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Dimitrov escaped the second round 10-8 in the fifth set against Jared Donaldson of the U.S. Verdasco will try to reach the Round of 16 in Paris for the seventh time. Their FedEx ATP Head2Head series is tied at 2-2, and all four matchups have gone the distance.

Seventh seed Dominic Thiem and top French hope Lucas Pouille will play for the third consecutive day. Thiem exacted revenge against #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had beaten the Austrian last month in Barcelona, winning the fourth set on Thursday to close out their darkness-delayed match. Thiem plays Italian Matteo Berrettini for the first time.

Pouille needed only a set more on Thursday as well before advancing past Brit Cameron Norrie. The 15th seed meets Russian Karen Khachanov for the third time this year (1-1). Win once more, and Pouille can celebrate his best showing at his home Grand Slam. Khachanov will look to return to the fourth round for the second consecutive year and match his best Grand Slam result.

In other action, eighth seed David Goffin faces 32nd seed and home favourite Gael Monfils; 19th seed Kei Nishikori plays a Frenchman for the third consecutive time in Gilles Simon; and 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta will play Italian Mario Cecchinato, who won his maiden ATP World Tour title at the Gazprom Hungarian Open in April.

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