World No. 1 Novak Djokovic claimed a straight-set win over No. 15 seed Karen Khachanov but underlined it wasn’t as easy as the result might suggest. Djokovic, who is aiming to win his second French Open title, beat Khachanov 6-4 6-3 6-3 to reach the French Open quarterfinal.
“I think maybe it was more difficult than the result. Three sets to zero, but I think we played point for point, equal, at the end I think I found my serve at the right time. The legs worked well, fast when it was important,” Djokovic said after beating Khachanov, per Ravi Ubha.
No. 1 Djokovic hasn’t been shy of using drop shots at the French Open so far. “I love the drop but maybe too much (smiles),” Djokovic added.
Djokovic in great spirits
Djokovic, who reached the quarterfinal without dropping a set, plays next against either Pablo Carreno Busta or Daniel Altmaier.
“It’s not a cliche. Truly I have to look at the next match, on the next opponent. I haven’t lost a set so far, which is good. I feel good on the court. We go,” Djokovic noted. Meanwhile, Khachanov’s fellow compatriot Andrey Rublev was more lucky as he beat Marton Fucsovics 6-7 (4) 7-5 6-4 7-6 (3) to set up a quarterfinal clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“To be honest, I don’t know. I mean, it just happens. I think it was really, really, really lucky. I think it was not me who did something. It just happens,” Rublev said, when acknowledged that his opponents served for the set eight times against him and managed to successfully serve out only once, per Matthere Battue.
“If you take all the matches before, most of the times it was never happening, and now in one week it happens more than ever. I don’t know. I think it’s more lucky than something that I play different. I don’t really play in that moments different.
I was playing the same style, the same shots. So it was more about luck. “Maybe a little bit conditions because here it’s cold. It’s not easy to serve hard every time. To be able to hold the serve is not that easy.”
Russian Tennis Federation chief Kamil Tarpischev is happy with that he has seen from Rublev so far. “He reached this stage, well done already. He won thanks to his character and sporting anger, by recovering the second set,” Tarpishchev told the TASS Russian News Agency.
“It was a victory of will and character, it is a great achievement. It is now a question of how quickly he can recover, because you need to be in great health against [Stefanos] Tsitsipas. Andrey won their last match, but it does not me.”