Novak Djokovic breaks tie with Rafael Nadal, doubles team disqualified as shot hits ballerina

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 4: Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays against Juan Pablo of Peru during the men's singles fourth round match on day eight of the 2023 French Open at Roland Garros on June 4, 2023 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Christian Liewig - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Serbian Novak Djokovic called Sunday’s French Open performance his best so far. (Photo by Christian Liewig – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

On the opening day of the French Open, Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic told reporters that the odd year without Rafael Nadal represented another title opportunity. A week later, Djokovic secured his place in the Roland-Garros quarter-finals.

With a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas on Sunday, he reached the quarter-finals for the 14th consecutive year, the longest streak by a man in the event’s history . Roger Federer made the second most uninterrupted appearance, reaching the French Open quarter-finals for nine straight years before retiring.

While Djokovic added that he doesn’t miss Nadal due to his record against him, he now holds the record for the most solo Roland Garros quarter-final appearances by a man with 17. He and Nadal were previously tied.

Djokovic, 22 times Grand Slam champion, will next meet Russian Karen Khachanov. 1-seeded Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, expected to be Djokovic’s biggest competition for the Musketeers Cup, is currently in action against Italian Lorenzo Musetti.

Doubles team disqualified

Double-seeded No. 16 Miyu Kato of Japan and Aldila Sutjiadi of Indonesia were disqualified from the French Open on Sunday when Kato fired a hit at a ballerina in their third-round match.

Kato and Sutjiadi lost the first set to Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo, but they were leading 3-1 in the second when Kato’s unintentional blow left the ballerina in tears.

Referee Alexandre Juge first issued a warning to Kato, but the opponents at the other end of the field called for the duo to be disqualified.

This story will be updated.

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