French Open: Novak Djokovic reaches quarter-finals after four set win
Last Updated: 03/06/13 3:28pm
Top seed and World No1 Novak Djokovic came from a set down to defeat German Philipp Kohlschreiber and reach his 16th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final.
The Serbian has been impressive in Paris, but was playing his first match since learning of the death of his first coach and mentor Jelena Gencic.
Despite a slow start, Djokovic roared his way back into the match before taking it 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4 in two hours and 42 minutes against the 16th seed on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The last time he failed to reach the last eight at a major was at Roland Garros in 2009 when significantly it was the German who beat him in the third round.
However Djokovic, who needs a Roland Garros title to become only the eighth man to claim a career Grand Slam, gained revenge - but only after being given a first-set scare.
The German made an early break in the fifth game after pressuring Djokovic into hitting his attempted lob long and then received a lucky net cord which dropped on the Serbian's side of the court as he claimed the opening set.
Djokovic got some momentum going in the fourth game of the second set as he kept Kohlschreiber pinned back behind the baseline and after four deuces, eventually broke his opponent's resistence before restoring parity in the contest.
And Djokovic quickly took advantage of a poor service game from the German at the start of the third set, which proved enough for the 26-year-old to seal the set.
The six-time Grand Slam champion opened up a 5-2 lead in the fourth but Kohlschreiber, who reached the semi-finals in Barcelona and Munich earlier this year, saved a match point before breaking Djokovic's serve.
But, in difficult weather conditions, Djokovic claimed victory with a trademark doubled-handed backhand crosscourt winner in the next game.
Djokovic is now a remarkable 60-4 over the past ten Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the start of 2011 and will next face German veteran Tommy Haas for a place in the semi-finals.
The 35-year-old became the oldest man since 1971 to reach the last eight with a straight-sets win over Mikhail Youzhny.