Cecchinato sets up Djokovic reunion as Zverev survives another Roland Garros five-setter
Marco Cecchinato's sensational run at the French Open continued on Sunday as he booked a quarter-final against Novak Djokovic.
Cecchinato had never won a match at a grand slam before this week but his 7-5 4-6 6-0 6-3 victory over eighth seed David Goffin kept his magical march going.
Next up is the 2016 champion Djokovic, himself enjoying a revival in Paris after clocking up a 200th win on clay in beating Fernando Verdasco.
Rising star Alexander Zverev will also be in the last eight having come through another five-set thriller, while Kei Nishikori's comeback from injury was halted by Dominic Thiem.
NOVAK HUNGRY FOR MORE
Since returning from injury it has been a mixed bag for Djokovic, but reaching the quarter-finals in Paris suggests his form is slowly returning.
Given where he was early this year, the Serbian could be forgiven for settling for a last-eight berth, but he wants much more.
"It's important for me," he told a media conference. "Especially considering all the circumstances that I was in in the last 15 months.
"It's quite an achievement to get the quarters of a slam for me. But I don't want to stop here."
716 MINUTES AND COUNTING
Since his comfortable victory over Ricardas Berankis in the first round, it has been a tough week for Zverev and his latest win took him to nearly 12 hours on court.
The second seed is enjoying his best run at a grand slam but he is doing it the hard way, having now racked up 716 minutes of action in his opening four matches.
"I'm very happy about being in the quarter-finals here," he told reporters. "Going the hard way, going the long distance every single time and showing myself, showing everybody that I can play for as long as I need to.
"Physically it's not easy to play back to back to back five-set matches but I will manage it somehow. I will make sure to be ready."
Alexander Zverev is the eighth player to win three consecutive five-setters at @rolandgarros in the Open Era.— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) June 3, 2018
But did you know the No. 2 seed can make tennis history in the quarter-finals against @ThiemDomi?
Read More https://t.co/fGw1zZyQr0 pic.twitter.com/2rVmoE4NBY
MARCO'S MARCH CONTINUES
Cecchinato stands in the way of Djokovic and the pair know each other well, having practised together in Monaco before.
However, the Italian knows their next meeting will be very different.
"For me it is amazing. It is a pleasure [to be] playing Novak in the quarter-final at Roland Garros," an elated Cecchinato said. "[But] it is totally different from practice to the match."