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Djokovic battles into quarters

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:19

The world number three, playing in his first event since retiring from his Australian Open quarter-final against Andy Roddick with a heat-related illness, defeated Jan Hernych 7-5 6-4 in the second round on Thursday.

The Serb squandered leads in both sets against the unheralded Czech before eventually sealing a last-eight meeting with Germany’s Mischa Zverev.

Second seed Gilles Simon also struggled in his second-round clash with Germany’s Rainer Schuettler before securing a 6-4 4-6 6-2 victory and an all-French last-eight match against Julien Benneteau.

Benneteau reached his second consecutive quarter-final on the ATP Tour by defeating Swiss lucky loser George Bastl 6-2 1-6 6-2. The Frenchman also made the last eight in Rotterdam last week.

Fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made it three home players in the last eight with a routine 6-3 6-2 win over Italy’s Simone Bolelli.

The former Australian Open finalist will face eighth seed Feliciano Lopez in the quarter-finals.

A Frenchman was guaranteed victory in the final match with Michael Llodra facing Paul-Henri Mathieu, and the result went against the rankings with world number 50 Llodra defeating the 34th-ranked Mathieu 6-3 7-6 (7/1).

Llodra will face Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny in the last eight.

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