French Open: Alexander Zverev breaks new ground to reach quarter-finals in Paris | More sports | DW | 03.06.2018
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French Open: Alexander Zverev breaks new ground to reach quarter-finals in Paris

Number two seed Alexander Zverev is into the quarter-finals eight of a Grand Slam for the first time. The German won yet another five-set marathon and will face Dominic Thiem for a place in the final four.

Alexander Zverev prevailed in his third consecutive five-set match at the French Open as he defeated Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday to reach his first quarter-final at a major.

Zverev called for treatment on a foot injury after he fought to force a fifth and the world number three rallied on to win in three hours and 29 minutes. 

Zverev'a reward is a clash with seventh seed Dominic Thiem in the last eight, who picked up the first two sets in under an hour before resisting a fightback from Japan's Kei Nishikori in a 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 victory. 

Read more: Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova set for showdown

"I'm very happy about being in the quarter-finals here," Zverev said. "Going the hard way, going the long distance every single time and showing myself, showing everybody, that I can play for as long as I need to."

"First two sets were amazing," Thiem said. "That's the way I should play, how I played in the first two sets. I'm happy with all of my game. There is no point where I would say that it's not working."

Austrian Thiem will compete in his third straight French Open quarter-final against Zverev, who beat him in straight sets to win the Madrid Open last month, but both are expecting their Roland Garros clash to go the distance. 

"I'm expecting another five-set match," Zverev said. "I will do everything I can to recover, as I said after the last match. I will make sure to be ready in two days time."

American duo firing

Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens recorded straight sets wins in their fourth round matches to join compatriot Serena Williams in the quarter-finals.

Tennis French Open 2018 Madison Keys (Getty Images/AFP/C. Simon)

Madison Keys celebrates another straight sets victory as she books her place in the last eight.

Keys, seeded 13th, reached the quarterfinals for the first time at Roland Garros after beating No. 31 Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania 6-1, 6-4 on Chatrier.

"I made the final of the US Open but lost to my friend Sloane Stephens," Keys said. "Hopefully big things can happen here."

Keys next faces unseeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, who beat 26th seed Czech Barbora Strycova 6-4, 6-3. If she wins that match, Keys could meet Stephens in an all-American semifinal.

Stephens reached the last eight in Paris by beating No. 25 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-2, 6-0. Stephens next plays either Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki - seeded second - or 14th-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina. Their match was suspended as the light faded on Sunday evening, with Wozniacki in trouble: 7-6 3-2 down.

Djokovic powers through

Novak Djokovic continued his resurgence to reach a record 12th French Open quarter-final with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Spain's Fernando Verdasco.

Tennis French Open 2018 Novak Djokovic (Getty Images/AFP/C. Simon)

Number 20 seed Novak Djokovic's French Open campaign is picking up momentum.

The 31-year-old Serb, seeded at 20 this year after a year of struggles with an elbow injury and patchy form, will face world number 72 Marco Cecchinato for a semi-final spot, after the unseeded Italian upset the world No 9 David Goffin.

Verdasco, 34, had knocked out fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in the third round.

However, his hopes of beating Djokovic for the first time in eight years weren't helped by a badly blistered left foot which needed treatment before the end of the second set.

mds (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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