Djokovic into last 16 at Slam for 43rd time
Paris: Former champion Novak Djokovic claimed a hardfought 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 victory over a grieving Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday to book his spot in the French Open fourth round.
The 31-year-old former world number one struggled at times on Suzanne Lenglen court, but eventually came through the four-set battle in three hours and 48 minutes with 13th seed Bautista Agut.
He has now made the last 16 of a Slam for the 43rd time, tying Jimmy Connors on the all-time list. Bautista Agut was playing in Paris despite the death of his mother last week.
Djokovic, seeded 20 after struggling to find his best form since returning from an elbow injury, will take on Fernando Verdasco for a last-eight place after the Spaniard knocked out fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov.
The Serbian has also reached the second week at Roland Garros for the last nine years in a row.
Meanwhile, Germany's Alexander Zverev lived up to his world No.3 billing with a come-from-behind 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(7-3), 7-5 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina's world No. 29 Damir Dzumhur in a French Open third round thriller here on Friday. The 21-year-old Zverev struggled mightily for almost four hours, but finally subdued the 26-year-old Dzumhur on Philippe-Chatrier Court, to reach the pre-quarterfinals, reports Efe.
Grigor Dimitrov's French Open hopes bit the dust as the fourth seed was outplayed by Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco in the third round on Friday, the Bulgarian losing 7-6(4) 6-2 6-4.
Verdasco needed two hours and 21 minutes to advance past Dimitrov into the fourth round for the seventh time in his 15th participation in the tournament.
In the third round of women's singles, United States' Madison Keys defeated Japan's Naomi Osaka 6-1, 7-6(9-7).
Keys, the world No. 13, took an hour and 23 minutes to qualify for the last-of-16 fourth round.
Also, Former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki whizzed into the fourth round of the French Open with a brutal 6-0 6-3 demolition of local favourite Pauline Parmentier.
Wozniacki will now meet world No 14 Daria Kasatkina in the fourth round on Sunday.
Kasatkina overcame Greece's Maria Sakkari 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 to march into the French Open fourth round.