June 3, 2018 / 5:43 PM / 17 days ago

Highlights of French Open eighth day

PARIS (Reuters) - Second seed Alexander Zverev survived a third successive five-setter to see off big-hitting Russian Karen Khachanov 4-6 7-6(4) 2-6 6-3 6-3 in the French Open fourth round on Sunday.

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 3, 2018 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his fourth round match against Spain's Fernando Verdasco REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

The German, fired up by a code violation for being coached from the stands by his father, stormed into the lead in the fourth set before securing victory in 3-1/2 hours on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

“I’m young, so I might as well stay on court and practise a little bit,” Zverev said courtside. “It’s the best, a five-set match.

It is the first time Zverev has reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam and he will face Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem, who beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-0 5-7 6-4.

Nishikori took his only break point opportunity to claim the third set but Thiem, twice Roland Garros semi-finalist, regained control in the fourth.

Former champion Novak Djokovic never looked in trouble as he booked a 12th quarter-final appearance in Paris with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win over Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco.

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.

Up next for Keys is Kazakh Yulia Putintseva, who upset 26th seed Czech Barbora Strycova 6-4 6-3.

Sloane Stephens sprinted past Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-0 to set up a potential semi-final meeting with Keys, whom she beat in last year’s U.S. Open final.

Highlights from day eight (all times GMT:

1925 PLAY SUSPENDED FOR THE DAY

Play was suspended due to fading light, with Russian Daria Kasatkina leading 7-6(5) 3-3 against second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki.

1740 CECCHINATO’S DREAM RUN CONTINUES

Italian Marco Cecchinato, who had never won a Grand Slam match before this week, beat eighth-seeded Belgian David Goffin 7-5 4-6 6-0 6-3 to reach his first major quarter-final.

At world number 72, Cecchinato becomes the lowest-ranked man to reach the last eight in Paris since Latvian Ernests Gulbis (ranked 80) in 2008.

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 3, 2018 Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva celebrates after winning her fourth round match against Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

He will next face 2016 champion Novak Djokovic for a place in the final four.

“For me it is a dream,” Cecchinato said. “It will be a pleasure to play against Novak.”

1725 DJOKOVIC SAILS THROUGH

Former champion Novak Djokovic sprinted past Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-3 6-4 6-2 to reach his 12th Roland Garros quarter-final.

It was the Serb’s 200th Tour-level clay court match win.

1715 WILLIAMS SISTERS KNOCKED OUT

Third-seed pair of Andreja Klepac and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez survived a mid-match blip to beat Serena and Venus Williams 6-4 6-7(4) 6-0 in the women’s doubles clash.

The Williams sisters have claimed 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together since winning the French Open title in 1999, but bowed out at the last-16 stage this year.

1500 UNSEEDED PUTINTSEVA CRUISES PAST STRYCOVA

Kazakh Yulia Putintseva produced a clinical display to beat 26th seeded Czech Barbora Strycova 6-4 6-3 in exactly one hour and 30 minutes.

Putintseva matched her best Roland Garros performance by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016.

The 23-year-old will next face U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys.

Slideshow (5 Images)

1430 STEPHENS GLIDES INTO PARIS QUARTERS

U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens was in complete control as she broke Estonian Anett Kontaveit’s serve five times on her way to a 6-2 6-0 win in just 52 minutes.

“Coming on to play on back-to-back days in a Grand Slam, I was really pleased to get out there and play some good tennis,” American Stephens said.

1310 THIEM BATTLES PAST NISHIKORI

Seventh seed Dominic Thiem booked a place in the quarter-finals for a third straight year, defeating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-0 5-7 6-4 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

“The first two sets were amazing but then he (Nishikori) raised his levels,” Thiem said.

“At the end I was nervous. It’s something very special to serve for the French Open quarters.

“I love these conditions; it was the first time for me on Court Philippe-Chatrier not playing against Rafa (Nadal)... so I could enjoy the court.”

Thiem will next face second seed Alexander Zverev for a spot in his third consecutive semi-final in Paris.

1250 ZVEREV SURVIVES ANOTHER MARATHON BATTLE

Second seed Alexander Zverev recovered from two-sets-to-one down for a third consecutive match to edged out Russian Karen Khachanov 4-6 7-6(4) 2-6 6-3 6-3.

The 21-year-old German has progressed to his first Grand Slam quarter-finals and became the seventh German man in the Open Era to reach the last eight at Roland Garros.

“I’m young, so I might as well stay on court and practise a little bit,” Zverev said. “It’s the best, a five-set match.

“I’ve been down 2-1 every single time but I’m unbelievably happy to be into the quarter-finals. All the hours in the gym have paid off.”

1020 KEYS UNLOCKS QUARTER-FINAL SPOT

U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys overcame Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 6-4 in just over an hour to reach her first quarter-finals at Roland Garros.

“Firstly, I’m really excited to be in my first quarter-finals in Paris,” Keys said.

“I had a really tough opponent today but I’m really pleased with my performance. I lost to my friend Sloane in the U.S. Open final last year but I hope for big things here.”

Keys, seeded 13th, has yet to drop a single set after four rounds in the tournament.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Ed Osmond

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