Novak Djokovic broke a tie with rival Rafael Nadal by scoring a record 6-3 6-2 6-2 French Open quarter-final victory over Juan Pablo Farias on Sunday.
Djokovic is close to beating Nadal in a more prestigious category: Grand Slam singles tournaments. Both of them are 22 years old now. For Djokovic, that number includes two at Roland Garros, in 2016 and 2021, and he could become the first man to hold at least three titles from every major tournament.
Nadal is a 14-time champion in Paris but missed this time with a thigh injury. He underwent laparoscopic surgery on Friday evening.
Against the 94th-ranked Varillas, who had not won a slam title until this event and went on to score three strikes in five sets, it is no surprise that Djokovic was at his best on Court Philippe Chatrier on a hot and sunny day.
The 36-year-old Serbian finished with more than twice as many winners, 35-15, and fewer unforced errors. He went 15-for-17 in trips to the net. He puts up 80% of his first serve. He converted 6 of 12 losing break points only once.
In total, there is no drama in the two hours of Djokovic, who has yet to concede a single set in four matches. He had a less than friendly back-and-forth with some spectators over the past week in Paris, but when he finished, Djokovic waved as if to give everyone a hug when he heard a few chants of his two-syllable nickname, “No!”
In his 55th career quarter-final — Roger Federer, who retired with 58, is the only man to reach more than that — and in his 14th straight at Roland Garros, No. 3 Djokovic will face No. 11 seed Karen Khachanov on Tuesday. .
Khachanov, who is 1-8 against Djokovic, reached this Grand Slam for the fifth time by defeating Lorenzo Sonego 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(7), 6-1.
The other men’s fourth-round matches on Sunday were top seed Carlos Alcaraz vs 17th seed Lorenzo Musetti and fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Sebastian Offner.
Two unseeded women have advanced to the quarter-finals and will face each other next: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, finalist at the 2021 Championships at Roland Garros, and Karolina Muchova.
Pavlyuchenkova, who missed last year’s tournament due to a long absence due to a knee injury, defeated third seed in a row, Elise Mertens, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Machuva beat Elena Avanesyan, who lost in qualifying 6-4 6-4, but entered the main draw when another player retired.
Other women’s matches are scheduled later: #2 Aryna Sabalenka vs. 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens, and #9 Daria Kasatkina vs. Elina Svitolina.