The 2018 French Open quarter-finals began to take shape on Sunday as Alexander Zverev beat Karen Khachanov to progress past the fourth round and will face Dominic Thiem in the next phase of the competition.
On Friday, Cecchinato will face No. 7 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria, who made it to his third consecutive French Open semifinal by beating No. 2 Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.
"I believe it is the matchup numerous followers in Germany and Austria had been hoping for after they noticed the draw", mentioned Thiem. He serve-and-volleyed on break point at 1-5, too, but in the end, he could not hold off the inevitable, and a final backhand punch from Thiem earned set and match, 6-1. Before this year's French Open, not only had he never reached the last eight of a major tournament, but he had lost all seven matches against top-50 players.
Keys mentioned she was trying ahead to Monday's blockbuster between Maria Sharapova - they share the identical agent, Max Eisenbud - and Serena Williams.
The Serbian 12-time Grand Slam victor stepped it up a gear in the third and overwhelmed Verdasco with grueling groundstrokes to kill the match in two and a half hours.
Zverev could even raise a smile when a reporter from Yorkshire in England - whose accent he found so amusing in a good-humoured exchange earlier in the week went viral on the internet - told him he had written a poem in his honour.
It was hard to discern which was less likely: that 12-time major champion Novak Djokovic would falter in his French Open quarterfinal or that Marco Cecchinato, who never won a Grand Slam match until last week and once faced a possible ban for losing on goal, would rise to the occasion. "That's impressive. I think you're the only person who will actually make me smile right now".
Thiem had too much power and speed for Nishikori, who was overwhelmed in the opening set, which the Austrian bagged with an ace in under half an hour. "That's his part. He's only 21".
U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys advanced to the last eight without dropping a set, defeating Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 6-4.
Number 20 seed Novak Djokovic's French Open campaign is picking up momentum.
A surprise match-up at the quarter-final stage sees Novak Djokovic play Italy's Marco Cecchinato.
The 10th-seeded American had little trouble beating No. 14 Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-1.
The fourth set saw a pivotal momentum change as Khachanov failed to take advantage of two break points in the fifth game before Zverev secured a break in the following game, before the second seed saved a further two break points to force a deciding set. Stephens meets No. 14 Daria Kasatkina of Russian Federation, while Keys plays 98th-ranked Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan. Match by match, I was playing better and better, and that shows that I increased [my] level.
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If she wins that match, Keys could meet Stephens in the semifinals.