Novak Djokovic on Friday dug deep twice in tension-laden tie-breakers in opposition to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina within the third-round match of the 2023 French Open to seal a 7-6(4), 7-6(5), 6-2 win. And with that he avenged his defeat in opposition to the Spaniard a yr in the past on the Monte Carlo Masters. Whereas the win was sufficient to maintain Djokovic nonetheless the agency favorite for the title at Roland Garros, it helped him shatter Rafael Nadal’s elusive Grand Slam document and be part of Roger Federer in an elite record.
Djokovic hit a profession milestone on Friday with the third-round win as he reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the sixtieth time of his profession. Surprisingly, 17 of these have are available 18 appearances on the Roland Garros, whereas 15 got here in Australian Open the place he received 10 titles and 14 every at Wimbledon and US Open. Essentially the most vital a part of the tally is that Djokovic reached the second week 60 occasions in his final 65 Grand Slam appearances after struggling first-week exits in all his first 5 appearances. And 21 of these got here on consecutive events, relationship again to French Open 2017.
With that milestone, the Serb grew to become solely the second participant to achieve that mark after Federer’s 69 such appearances. Nadal stands third on the record along with his tally of 54.
The win additionally noticed Djokovic surpass Nadal to face second in males’s singles tennis for win proportion at Grand Slams in Open Period (minimal 10 matches) at 87.98, solely marginally forward of the Spaniard (87.96). Djokovic now solely trails the legendary Bjorn Borg (89.24).
Djokovic, who now stands 4 wins away from claiming a document twenty third Slam and returning to the No.1 rating spot, will subsequent face Juan Pablo Varillas, who defeated thirteenth seed Hubert Hurkacz in an intense five-setter.