Latest news from the fourth round of Roland-Garros

Novak Djokovic of Serbia gestures as he plays against Juan Pablo Varillas of Peru at French Open - Getty Images/Emmanuel Dunand
Serbian Novak Djokovic gestures as he plays against Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas at French Open – Getty Images/Emmanuel Dunand

3:18 p.m.

Djokovic 1-1 Varillas* (*indicates next server) Djokovic leads 2-0 in sets

Djokovic is the starter.

3:12 p.m.

Djokovic* 0-1 Varillas (* indicates next server) Djokovic leads 2-0 in sets

Varillas holds his serve. A few people make a little more noise in the crowd. Djokovic expresses his frustration to the referee, although it could also be because he just hit a long forehand in a rally he had the best of.

3:07 p.m.

Djokovic only lost 2-0 once

in his career. And that was 13 years ago, against Jurgen Melzer, here.

3:05 p.m.

Novak Djokovic leads two sets at love

6-3, 6-2.

3:05 p.m.

Djokovic 6-2 Varillas* (*indicates next server) – ND wins second set

True authority from Novak as he comes to the net to win a point, then serves an ace afterwards. Some cries from the crowd at 30-15 bother Djokovic. Nails that also serve and gives itself two set points. Attempts a chipped backhand volley but hits it into the net. A long length on a groundstroke attracts error and it is match and second set, Djokovic.

2:59 p.m.

Djokovic* 5-2 Varillas (* indicates next server) Djokovic won the first set 6-3

Varillas pushed hard here. It’s the devil. He wins the next point. Unrecoverable decent serve for ND and Varillas at least extended that second set by one game.

2:54 p.m.

Djokovic 5-1 Varillas* (* indicates next server) Djokovic won the first set 6-3

Varillas is fast, he’s agile and he’s a good defensive fighter. But he’s not really able to put pressure on Djokovic, who just looks bigger, stronger and rounder. Which it is, of course. No shame to lose for that. But Varillas is unable to meet any challenge in this service game from Djoko and everything is very comfortable for Novak at the moment.

Varillas will serve to stay in the set.

2:52 p.m.

Djokovic* 4-1 Varillas (* indicates next server) Djokovic won the first set 6-3

Djokovic wins the game’s longest rally, 24 shots. And Varillas is now officially in the soup. His backhand lets him down, he misses the target and he was broken again.

2:47 p.m.

Djokovic 3-1 Varillas* (* indicates next server) Djokovic won the first set 6-3

Djokovic consolidates his advantage in this set as he holds his serve.

2:45 p.m.

Djokovic* 2-1 Varillas (* indicates next server) Djokovic won the first set 6-3

Varillas holds.

2:44 p.m.

A comment or two from the crowd

and I really mean one or two. Hard for me to tell what they say via TV. Djokovic seems to be taking it in his stride. There are certainly plenty of supporters for him here too.

2:40 p.m.

Djokovic 2-0 Varillas* (* indicates next server) Djokovic won the first set 6-3

ND holds his opening service game and also took control of the second set. Nice shot coming towards the net here from the gluten-free big, a backhand volley from his own belly. Makes the very difficult look very easy.

By the way, I think Rolex does the worst commercials on TV right now. These are even more prodigious and exaggerated than those of golf.

2:37 p.m.

Djokovic * 1-0 Varillas (* indicates next server) Djokovic won the first set 6-3

Too bad, sorry to tell you that Varillas was broken in the first game of the second set. His first serve definitely looks like a puff. He hits a great ball once the rallies are started but he starts every point at a disadvantage compared to a top player.

2:29 p.m.

Djokovic 6-3 Varillas* (*indicates next server) – ND wins first set

But the Preuvian underdog can’t do much in this game. Djokovic serves it without too much concern and it’s a set to love. Varillas landed some decent shots, but he needs Djokovic to be well below his best, and he isn’t. Djokovic also moves well and hits well. I didn’t see him wince or bend a knee, etc.

Djokovic had 81% of his first serves, had three aces and a double fault.

Varillas only managed 58% on first serves, which needs to improve markedly. They watered the court and the Peruvian now has a chance to serve.

2:21 p.m.

Djokovic * 5-3 Varillas (* indicates next server)

Varillas serves to stay in the set – and succeeds.

Juan Pablo Varillas serves - YOAN VALAT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Juan Pablo Varillas serves – YOAN VALAT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

2:16 p.m.

Djokovic 5-2 Varillas* (*indicates next server)

At 15-30, Djokovic changes things up a bit, varying the pace of his shot, coming to the net and winning a point with an attractive drop shot.

Djokovic slices and Varillas stabilizes, using that extra split second, to crunch a two-handed backhand down the line. Winner – and another break point for the Peruvian at 30-40.

Some people in the crowd distract Djokovic while he serves… It’s windy in Paris, and it’s Djokovic’s here.

Brilliance from Djokovic at 40-40. He’s on the back foot every shot from this point but he’ll never give in. He stays in the point, one way or another, then turns the tables with a perfectly judged forehand that Varillas sends back into the net.

Finish the game with authority now.

2:14 p.m.

Djokovic* 4-2 Varillas (* indicates next server)

Novak Djokovic wins a 22 shot rally and we need a two but Varillas produces an ace, holds his serve and has a foothold in this opening set now.

2:05 p.m.

Djokovic 4-1 Varillas* (* indicates next server)

Opportunity. At 30-30, Varillas performs a superb groundstroke that embraces the line. Nice setback, that, and it gives him a break point. And he takes it! Fist in the air. The Peruvian started his match.

2:01 p.m.

Djokovic* 4-0 Varillas (* indicates next server)

Oh my God, it’s another break in duty. Djokovic gently hits the ball.

1:57 p.m.

Djokovic 3-0 Varillas* (* indicates next server)

Djokovic serves there with authority and Varillas will need something like a miracle, or Djokovic crashing, to win here.

1:53 p.m.

Djokovic* 2-0 Varillas (* indicates next server)

Varillas is immediately in trouble. It’s 15-40 on his serve. He overtakes Djokovic across the field. But at 30-40, an error, and a break of service.

1:48 p.m.

Novak Djokovic 1-0 Juan Pablo Varillas* (*indicates next server)

Djokovic got to work for this first serve, taken to a devil. A few aces closed the door.

1:44 p.m.

The players are on the field

Novak in an orange Lacoste shirt which is more or less the same color as the surface. Rather confusingly, his opponent is wearing a similar color!

The men have never played each other.

It’s Djokovic to serve.

1:39 p.m.

Quotes from Varillas

“The last match was difficult. He served big.

“It’s a big thing for my country. There are not many professional players in Peru and opportunities to be professional.

1:36 p.m.

Djokovic on Eurosport

“It’s normal to have doubts, regardless of experience. I remind myself to stay in the moment and make the most of it. It’s harder than at the start of my career. I haven’t no end date in mind but i think i can still challenge the best players in the world.How long it lasts because i don’t know.

Good quotes from him, I thought. Minimizing one might say.

1:31 p.m.

File Juan Pablo Varillas

Novak Djokovic needs little to no introduction but the man he faces in this last 16 game is less well known.

Juan Pablo Varillas hails from Peru and is currently ranked 94th in the world. The high was 76. This week’s effort represents the high point of his playing career so far.

He came back after two sets to beat Shang Juncheng, then defeated 19th seed Roberto Bautista Agut from an equally desperate position. He defeated 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz in the final round in five sets.

So he’s clearly a fighter and he’ll need every ounce of that heart today against the big Serbian.

1:24 p.m.

So this victory for Pavlyuchenkova

means Novak Djokovic will be on the pitch soon.

1:18 p.m.

Djokovic to follow

This match will start after the conclusion of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova’s clash with Elise Mertens. The Russian has a 5-3 lead in the final set as we speak.


“It’s something that I find disrespectful”

Hello and welcome to Roland Garros where Novak Djokovic returns this afternoon to the Philippe Chatrier court under a cloud.

The Serb was unimpressed with the reception he received on the pitch in his third-round win over Davidovich Fokina, during which he was booed and jeered by the crowd.

“The majority of people come to enjoy the tennis or to support one or the other player,” Djokovic said after his match, according to ESPN.

“But these are individuals. There are people – there are bands or whatever – who like to boo every thing you do. It’s something that I find disrespectful and frankly I don’t understand that.

“But it is their right. They paid for the ticket. They can do whatever they want. »

The whole event was one where Djokovic was shrouded in controversy after appearing to take a very public stance against Kosovo sovereignty after winning his first-round match.

This afternoon, the 22-time Grand Slam winner takes on Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas. The world No. 94 who beat 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz in the last round and will now face Djokovic for the first time in his career.

What concerns Varillas, as if facing Djokovic wasn’t high enough on its own, is that he played 15 sets en route to the fourth round. His conditioning will therefore go a long way in deciding whether this match is competitive or not.

For Djokovic, the off-court questions distracted from what was a relatively straightforward start to his French Open bid.

Three straight wins is exactly what he expected entering Roland Garros, but there have been rumors that the 2021 champion may not have quite found his best material yet.

Now is the perfect opportunity to mark the rest of the tournament.

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