Tuesday, 5 July, 2022

Djokovic cruises closer to Nadal clash

World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic reached a 16th French Open quarter-final on Sunday where old rival and 13-time winner Rafael Nadal could be waiting, reports AFP. Djokovic, bidding to equal Nadal's record of 21 Grand Slam titles, eased to a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 last-16 victory against 15th seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. “I have a lot of respect for him (Schwartzman). He's a good person off the court,” said Djokovic who has now beaten Schwartzman seven times in seven meetings. Djokovic is still to drop a set at Roland Garros after cruising through the first week. He has also won 22 sets in a row, stretching back to his Italian Open title triumph in Rome earlier this month. In an interesting twist, Auger-Aliassime has Nadal's uncle and former long-time coach Toni working with him. Toni coached his nephew for the best part of three decades during which time Nadal won 16 of his record 21 Slam titles. When asked if he will divulge to Auger-Aliassime the secret of how to become just the third man to defeat Nadal at Roland Garros, the 61-year-old coach was unequivocal.