Novak Djokovic escapes Diego Schwartzman's clutches in five sets

Novak Djokovic escapes Diego Schwartzman's clutches in five sets

Defending champion Novak Djokovic struggled into the French Open last 16 on Friday, downing battling Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.

PARIS The French Open will have a star-studded Sunday lineup with defending champion Novak Djokovic and nine-time victor Rafael Nadal in fourth round action while third round games still need to be completed after rain washed out play on Saturday.

In theory, the third round of a Grand Slam should be a test, the first time a contender can face another seeded player, but this was only Basilashvili's second appearance in the last 32 of a major since he came through qualifying at Wimbledon in 2015.

Presenter Catherine Whitaker was joined by Eurosport colleagues and commentary team Simon Reed and Frew McMillan as they stepped out of the commentary box following one of their shorter shifts - a 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 victory for Rafael Nadal over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The match was the 100th over five sets on clay for Nadal, and improved his record over the full-match distance to 98-2.

"In the beginning of the match he was not playing bad, and I was able to produce winners, to play with no mistakes".

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"Before the match I felt well, I was optimistic and I had played two good matches (in the tournament)", Djokovic said. Zeballos' shot landed out, so Goffin actually won the point.

"What the hell is wrong with you?"

In the last match on Phillepe Chatrier on Friday, 15 days shy of 37 years former world no. 1 Venus Williams notched up a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Elise Mertens, hardly breaking a sweat.

"I think I played great".

Argentinian Schwartzman was clearly rattled after blowing a 40-0 lead in his first service game of the fourth and then took a medical timeout for a back injury in the fifth.

"Kiki! Kiki!" the crowd chanted again in an electric atmosphere, declaring their love back to Mladenovic. The Spaniard had already received treatment at the end of the first set.

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"Perfection? I don't know about that", said Nadal.

But the 20th-seeded Spaniard, pummelling ground strokes deep into both corners, turned the match in a 20-point sixth game, winning it on his second break point after Dimitrov failed to covert four chances of his own.

Muguruza booked her spot in the fourth round with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Yulia Putintseva, a 2016 quarterfinalist.

Muguruza will next face either Shelby Rogers of the United States or 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France.

The 10th seed was 5-4 up before he slid into a cover, injuring his right ankle which forced him to conclude the match prematurely. Despite being up 5-4 in the first set, he had to retire, which allowed Horacio Zeballos to advance. He won the point to get back to deuce but slid after he hit it, catching his foot on the tarp at the back of the court.

Nevertheless it was a tough day at the office for Djokovic, especially when considering his two main rivals in the bottom half of the draw, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, mostly breezed.

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