Novak Djokovic overcame a tough four-set battle against Roberto Bautista Agut in the fourth round of US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday.
The Serb, who hadn’t lost a set in his first three matches, dropped one to mercurial Roberto but prevailed in four sets 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. After dropping the second set of the match, frustrated Djokovic broke his racket, drawing a code violation for violently stomping on it as it lay on top of his bag.
The 2011 US Open champion Djokovic booked a place in the last eight after three hours and three minutes of grueling baseline tennis. The Serbian international made into the last eight of a Grand Slam for the 26th consecutive time, behind Jimmy Connors (27) and Roger Federer (36) Grand Slam quarter-final appearances.
“It was a great match tonight,” said Djokovic. I had a chance to close him out and I didn’t capitalize so he turned it around and make it tough. Credit to him for fighting, for making me work.”
The Spaniard, world number 23, came into the match with a 0-2 record against the World number one and had a 13-match losing streak against Top 10 opponents. Novak Djokovic unleashed 42 winners and committed 37 unforced errors, while Bautista Agut struck 34 winners and committed 28 errors.
Top seed Novak Djokovic will face Feliciano Lopez, another Spaniard, in his ninth consecutive US Open quarter-final. Lopez, world number 18, reached his first US Open quarter-final at the 14th attempt with a 6-3, 7-6, 6-1 win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini, the conqueror of Rafael Nadal in the third round.
Defending champion Marin Cilic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga set-up Tuesday’s other quarter-final clash. Cilic made the last eight for the fourth time with a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 win over France’s Jeremy Chardy. Frenchman Tsonga, ranked 19th, reached his second New York quarter-final with a comfortable victory over unseeded compatriot Benoit Paire, who knocked out fourth seed Kei Nishikori in the first round. IMAGE/nypost