Paris, France (Sports Network) - World No. 1 Novak Djokovic came from behind
in order to win his fourth-round match, while seven-time champion Rafael Nadal
was an easy winner Monday at the French Open.
Last year's Roland Garros runner-up Djokovic dropped the first set on Day 9 of
the fortnight before charging back to dismiss 16th-seeded German Phillip
Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in 2 hours, 42 minutes, while the third-
seeded former top-ranked Nadal celebrated his 27th birthday by predictably
blowing past 13th-seeded rising Japanese Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 in just
over two hours on the red clay on Court Chatrier.
Following his win, the crowd serenaded Nadal with a rendition of 'Happy
Birthday,' and he was then presented with a large cake on court.
In the Djokovic-Kohlschreiber affair, the German secured the lone break of the
first stanza to grab a one-set lead, but the Serbian star, who angrily busted
his racquet during that first set, recorded the only breaks en route to
claiming the second and third sets and broke Kohlschreiber by a 2-1 margin in
the fourth en route to victory.
The 26-year-old Djokovic is now third on the men's Open Era list with 16
straight trips into a Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Djokovic played for the first time after learning over the weekend that his
childhood coach and the person who first recognized his exceptional talent,
Jelena Gencic, died in Belgrade on Saturday at the age of 77.
The mighty Djokovic reached his first-ever French Open final last year, only
to lose to the great Nadal. The reigning Australian Open champ needs
Roland Garros to complete a career Grand Slam.
Djokovic's quarterfinal opponent will be resurgent German Tommy Haas, who
looked impressive in a straight-set rout of Russian Mikhail Youzhny.
Meanwhile, the 11-time major titlist Nadal, seeking a fourth straight title at
this lone clay-court Slam, improved to 56-1 lifetime at Roland Garros on
Monday. The Spanish strongman has been brilliant so far in 2013, going 26-2
with six titles in eight events.
Nadal broke Nishikori five times, while Nishikori failed to break the clay
court king on Day 9.
The oft-injured Haas cruised to a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Youzhny in
just 90 minutes to reach the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the first
time. He has been to at least the round of eight in each of the other three
In addition, the 35-year-old German became the oldest quarterfinalist in a
major since Andre Agassi at the 2005 U.S. Open and became the oldest French
Open quarterfinalist since a 39-year-old Istvan Gulyas in 1971. He is also the
first German in the French quarters since Michael Stich and Bernd Karbacher in
"These are cool stats sometimes to hear," said Haas, who has undergone
shoulder, elbow and hip surgeries during his career. "I feel like I'm riding a
wave that I hope to continue as long as I can. I'm going out there and I try
to improve my game as much as I can, and to be in this situation is
The 12th-seeded Haas, a champion in Munich last month, needed 13 match
points to finally finish off John Isner in the third round on Saturday, but
had little trouble against Youzhny. The Russian beat Haas in the first round
of the Italian Masters last month and took the first game on Monday, then
proceeded to lose 10 straight on his way to a quick exit.
Youzhny was so frustrated on Monday that he demolished his racquet by banging
it nine times against his changeover chair.
"Bad luck for that racquet," Youzhny said.
The Sports Network