Djokovic, Sharapova and Raonic reach quarter-finals
Originally published on 01/06/14
The Serb controlled the contest from the start and managed to subdue the partisan Court Philippe Chatrier crowd with a ruthless display against a below-par Tsonga. The world No.2 converted seven of his nine break points to record a ninth successive win against the Frenchman.
"With the support Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has on home soil, I needed to start with a high intensity, good movements and try to get as close to baseline as possible," said Djokovic. "I prepared well with my team and executed very well. The scoreline was perfect for me and I'm very happy with that performance."
Tsonga, who made 38 unforced errors and won only 35% of his second serve points, admitted it was a bad day at the office.
"I didn't go through happy moments today. It was not fun for me," he said. "It was tough. I didn't have time to go for my shots. I didn't get off to a good start. Then against this type of player, things started to deteriorate. He played better and better."
Djokovic’s next opponent is Milos Raonic, who cruised to a 6-3 6-3 6-3 victory over Marcelo Granollers to become the first Canadian in the Open era to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam.
“I’m not surprised to make by first Grand Slam quarter-final but I would not have thought I would have done it first here on clay,” said Raonic. “I’ve always felt I could play well on clay. The key is not making much of a change in my game just for the clay. I’ve been trying to keep what I’ve been doing on the hardcourts.
“I think I played the important moments well. There were a few moments where I'd be up quite handily on my serve, and I'd sort of drift away for a little bit, but when it came down to the wire I was playing those moments well."
Raonic was narrowly beaten by Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Rome Masters a fortnight ago but is looking forward to taking on the Serb again.
"I'm very eager and I'm looking forward to that. Especially after two weeks ago, to be putting myself in that situation to get to play him again," he said.
Also into the quarter-finals is Maria Sharapova after she withstood a strong challenge from in-form Australian Sam Stosur to win 3-6 6-4 6-0. The No.7 seed looked to be in trouble as Stosur won four games in a row to take the opening set and then led 4-3 in the second. But Sharapova replied in superb fashion as she raised her game and won the last nine games to book a meeting with Serena Williams’ conqueror, Garbine Muguruza, in the quarter-finals.
"It was so difficult in the beginning, Samantha was playing so well, but I got energy from the crowd," Sharapova said. "I'm so happy to be back in the quarter-finals, it's such a special tournament for me. It's a big step but when you get there it will get more difficult. Hopefully I will raise my level."
Unseeded Spaniard Muguruza hit 18 winners to beat Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier 6-4 6-2 and reach the last eight of a Slam for the first time.