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Novak Djokovic rolls on as Gasquet is flattened

Novak Djokovic is becoming metronomic in his consistency but there is nothing monotonous about his all-action style of play which comfortably overcame Richard Gasquet in the French Open fourth round on Sunday.

May 30, 2011 / 10:25 AM IST

Novak Djokovic is becoming metronomic in his consistency but there is nothing monotonous about his all-action style of play which comfortably overcame Richard Gasquet in the French Open fourth round on Sunday.


The French media and Gasquet's coach had built up his clash with man-of-the-moment Djokovic as a serious test for the Serbian. However, a 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory silenced a previously noisy home crowd eager for an upset from their compatriot.


The processional victory was Djokovic's 41st straight win since the start of the year, putting him one behind John McEnroe's record.


He next plays Italy's bandana-wearing Fabio Fognini, who is a slight doubt for the slated Tuesday quarter-final after suffering cramps and muscle problems in his five-set victory over another unseeded player Albert Montanes.


"We know each other really well," Djokovic said courtside. "So it's going to be an interesting match."


In reality, Djokovic should easily pass the Fognini test given his rampaging form, setting up a possible last four meeting with 16-times grand slam champion Roger Federer.


Australian Open champion Djokovic has never won the Roland Garros title after question marks about his ability on clay but he has well and truly put any doubts to bed and looks as comfortable on the red stuff as he does on the hardcourts.


Rafa Nadal is chasing his sixth title in Paris in seven years while 2009 winner Federer is in fine fettle, meaning the coming days are set to provide some of the most enthralling tennis in years with Djokovic threatening the duo's perch.


Gasquet, the 13th seed, was on the backfoot from the start when he lost his opening service game before failing to convert three break points of his own in one game.


The Serbian, covering every area of the court with his remarkable stamina, took the initiative at 4-3 in the second set and Gasquet's double fault let him in again in the third before a backhand passing shot put the second seed even further clear.

"I'm very happy with my game today...et voila," Djokovic said, winning back the crowd in French after he had downed their hero. "I knew Richard was a great player. But I really played without any mistakes."

first published: May 30, 2011 08:19 am

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