Novak Djokovic storms into French Open quarter-finals after downing Fernando Verdasco

Novak Djokovic storms into French Open quarter-finals
Djokovic moved through (Picture: AP)

Novak Djokovic stormed into the quarter-finals of the French Open for the ninth consecutive year after a straightforward win over Fernando Verdasco.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion made light work of the 30th seed, winning 6-3 6-4 6-2, and he should be relatively fresh heading into the last-eight.

It wasnt all smiles for Djokovic, who appeared concerned by the state of the Philippe-Chatrier court, but there was plenty to be happy with about his performance.

The serve continues to improve, the groundstrokes look stable off both wings and his movement remains among the best in the sport – confidence will no doubt be growing.

Spain's Fernando Verdasco reacts after a point against Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their men's singles fourth round match on day eight of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 3, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMONCHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images
Verdasco was beaten (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Though its still premature to say hes back to his best, seeds of fear will have been planted among the ATP Tour that one of its greatest champions is becoming stronger by the day.

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Verdasco has enjoyed success against the Serb in the past, but is without a win since 2010 – now on a six-match losing streak.

That said, he had come into this encounter off the back of a very impressive win over Grigor Dimitrov to book his spot in the last-16 at Roland Garros for the seventh time in his career.

But, in truth, he never really came close to the ever-improving Djokovic.

A tense opening three games lasted just short of half an hour, with both players having a handful of break point chances but holding firm.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Spain's Fernando Verdasco during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, June 3, 2018 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Djokovic dominated the match (Picture: AP)

By the second half an hour, Djokovic had wrapped up the first set via a single break.

Moments later he broke for a second time in the match to assume complete control.

There was a brief blip for the former world No. 1 as he was broken to love, but he returned the favour in the next game before moving two sets to the good, with Verdasco struggling with a foot injury.

Again, the 12-time Grand Slam champion started the third with a break and a shank from Verdasco gifted him a 4-1 lead before he closed out the set in style.

Next up for the 20th seed is Italys Marco Cecchinato who stunned eighth seed David Goffin 7-5 4-6 6-0 6-3 to reach his first major quarter-final.

More: Tennis

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