French Open 2018: Novak Djokovic beats Fernando Verdasco to reach quarter-finals

French Open casualty Grigor Dimitrov

"I was two breaks down on the tie-breaker and I had two or three match points and then on the fourth one I was very exhausted".

However, he threw away a 5-2 lead in the fourth set and ended up losing a dramatic tie-break.

Analyzing the match, Djokovic added: 'He played unbelievable and credit to him.

Cecchinato had not won a single grand slam match until he arrived at Roland Garros, but the 25-year-old is now the first Italian to reach the semi-final since Corrado Barazzutti 40 years ago.

"I just could never turn it around out here".

"It was an unbelievable, high-level match", said Zverev.

To achieve that feat, Cecchinato, who in 2016 was suspended for 18 months for match fixing before his ban was lifted following a successful appeal, displayed an impressive range of claycourt tennis skills.

"I know how to handle a Grand Slam now, how... to get that deep in such a tournament, and I think everything gets better with experience".

Her next outing will be a battle of wills against compatriot and friend Stephens, who has emerged victorious in both of their previous meetings as professionals, most recently beating Keys in the final of last year's U.S. Open.

Cecchinato struggled to comprehend his triumph, coming just two years after his career was nearly derailed when he became embroiled in match-fixing allegations.

The clay courts of the French Open have never been a strong suit for Dimitrov, who was knocked out of the third round for a third time in his career.

"Is good for my opponent in Wimbledon", he said. In the final tiebreak, Djokovic had a set point three times, but could not deliver. I'm very happy because it's unbelievable to beat Novak Djokovic in a quarter-final at Roland Garros. "Now I beat David Goffin, (who) is one of the best players in the world".

Even though he trails Thiem in their head-to-head, he won their most recent meeting on clay in the Madrid final this year.

The Serb raised his level to win the third 6-1 in just 27 minutes as he clawed his way back into the quarter-final and then called for the trainer again after reducing his deficit, this time to receive treatment on his right leg. "There was another year of work where I improved and developed my game", said the 24-year-old.

"First week, my goal is to get to the second week", said Keys.

"I obviously rely on what I learned there and how to manage my emotions and manage the moment, but there were so many late nights and I was so exhausted".

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