Perfect 10: Djokovic first to make quarter-finals 10 straight years in Paris
Top-ranked men's player will face No. 5 Alexander Zverev
Novak Djokovic is into his record 10th consecutive French Open quarter-final, something not even King of Clay Rafael Nadal has managed to do.
And Djokovic is yet to be challenged at all this year at Roland Garros. Not only hasn't he lost a set — he's only twice ceded as many as four games in a set.
Extending his Grand Slam winning streak to 25 matches and closing in on a fourth championship in a row, Djokovic was dominant yet again in the fourth round Monday, beating 45th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
"Everything is coming together beautifully. I'm motivated to fight for the trophy, yes. I mean, that's why I'm here," said Djokovic, who owns 15 Slam titles, including one in Paris. "But it's still a long way to go."
It's helped, certainly, that the No. 1-ranked Djokovic has not needed to deal with a single seeded foe yet. That will change now: He faces No. 5 Alexander Zverev for a spot in the semifinals.
Have things been too easy so far? Is it possible that Djokovic hasn't had the proper preparation for what could be tougher going in the latter portion of the tournament?
WATCH | Djokovic powers his way to quarter-finals:
"I don't mind cruising along, to be honest," he said with a smile. "I have plenty of experience, I think, dealing with situations where you're facing break points or where it's tense. I have played plenty of, I think, tight matches in my career, that I can rely on that experience."
Djokovic and Zverev have split four previous tour meetings.
Touted as future champion
Zverev reached his second straight quarter-final in Paris by coming back to eliminate No. 9 Fabio Fognini 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (5).
He's only 22, but Zverev has been touted as a future champion for quite some time. He has yet to play in a major semifinal, though, and mentioned Monday that he enjoyed getting to be a bit under the radar so far in this French Open, noting that 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, the sixth seed, was a subject of more focus until losing in the fourth round to Stan Wawrinka.
The other quarter-final on their half of the draw Wednesday will be No. 4 Dominic Thiem against No. 10 Karen Khachanov, who got past 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to make it to the final eight for the first time at a major.
Thiem advanced by eliminating the last Frenchman in the field, No. 14 Gael Monfils, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. A man from the host country hasn't won the French Open since Yannick Noah in 1983.
Rain is forecast for Tuesday, when the men's quarter-finals will be Roger Federer vs. Wawrinka, and Nadal vs. No. 7 Kei Nishikori, who completed his two-day 6-2, 6-7 (8), 6-2, 6-7 (8), 7-5 fourth-round victory over Benoit Paire of France.
Surprising runs come to end in women's play
Beating 23-time major champion Serena Williams or No. 1-ranked Naomi Osaka at the French Open was one thing. Following up those upsets with other victories two days later was entirely something else for Sofia Kenin and Katerina Siniakova.
The women responsible for beating Williams and Osaka in the third round both bowed out in the fourth round Monday, with Kenin losing to No. 8 seed Ash Barty 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, and Siniakova defeated by No. 14 Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4.
It's a common occurrence at Grand Slam tournaments: An unseeded player knocks off a far more accomplished opponent but fails to do enough to win again the next time on court. Just one other example from this year at Roland Garros: The woman who beat three-time major champion Angelique Kerber in the first round, 81st-ranked Anastasia Potapova, exited in the second.
"It's obviously challenging. You know, you've got to get your emotions settled in," said Kenin, a 20-year-old American ranked 35th who outplayed Williams during a straight-set victory Saturday. "Yes, I beat Serena, which was really good, but I knew that [Barty is] very tough and she's playing really well."
Keys meets Barty next. The other quarter-final on the top half of the women's draw will pair the winners of two later matches: defending champion Simona Halep against 18-year-old Iga Swiatek, and 17-year-old American Amanada Anisimova against Spanish qualifier Aliona Bolsova.
Barty dominated the final set, held an 11-1 edge in aces and played the sort of mistake-free tennis that Kenin managed to produce a match earlier.
In Keys, she'll face someone who is in the quarters for the fifth time in the last seven majors, including a runner-up finish at the 2017 U.S. Open and a semifinal showing in Paris a year ago.
Keys needed only 75 minutes to get past Siniakova, a Czech who is ranked No. 42 in singles and No. 1 in doubles.
After playing so confidently in her 6-4, 6-2 victory that ended Osaka's 16-match Grand Slam winning streak, Siniakova allowed Keys to dictate things to the tune of a 26-10 advantage in winners.
In other action, defending champion Simona Halep routed 18-year-old Iga Swiatek 6-1, 6-0 in 45 minutes. He quarter-final opponent will be Amanda Anisimova or Aliona Bolsova.