French Open 2018: Novak Djokovic unsure on playing Wimbledon

French Open 2018: Novak Djokovic unsure on playing Wimbledon

In the second set, Verdasco broke in the sixth game and won four consecutive games, dropping just four points to claim the second.

Djokovic somehow regrouped to win the third set at a canter, and a suddenly frustrated Cecchinato was hit with a point penalty.

In an extraordinary post-match press conference, Djokovic then said he may even skip Wimbledon where he has been champion three times. "Because now I need to realize the moment, because I will play the semi-final in Roland Garros".

Thiem, who lost in the semis to Djokovic in 2016 and Nadal past year, said he is now better-equipped to go all the way. Maybe I am sleeping. "It's wonderful", said the 25-year-old who is the first Italian to get this far at a Slam since Corrado Barazzutti at Roland Garros in 1978.

'And the one that won deserved to win the match, and that was Marco today.

Cecchinato and Djokovic know each other well: They have practiced together in Monte Carlo, where Cecchinato trains at a tennis academy and Djokovic has a home. "It's wonderful", he said.

"I struggled at the beginning and also had a little injury at the beginning". I just came from the court.

In a tense encounter, both men were slapped with code violations for coaching before Cecchinato gallantly saved three set points.

The fourth seed failed to convert any of the four set points that arrived when 34-year-old Verdasco served at 5-6 in a tight first set and after that he faded badly.

Asked if he was back, however, Djokovic was blunt.

Djokovic won on his second match point with an easy smash at the net.

He could next face a clash with two-time semi-finalist and seventh seed Dominic Thiem, who plays Italian Matteo Berrettini later in the third round.

"To be able to win that first set and get ahead was crucial". This will be Zverev's first quarterfinal match in a Grand Slam, so Thiem edges him in experience.

Djokovic, a former world number one and 12-time Grand Slam title victor, had previously only been beaten by a player ranked lower than 25-year-old Cecchinato at the majors on two occasions - Marat Safin at Wimbledon in 2008 when the maverick Russian was at 78 and 117th-ranked Denis Istomin at last year's Australian Open.

"I was a bit unlucky not to capitalize on the second set", said Djokovic, who improved to 7-1 against Bautista Agut.

But what looked like being a long night for the 12-times grand slam champion ended up being a reasonably comfortable one.

When pressed again, he added: 'I don't know if I'm going to play on grass. There was no way for me.

"I started very well on my serve and, phew".

"Me and my brother (Mischa) are guys that spend three, four hours a day in the gym, lifting heavy weights, on the treadmill".

Related Articles