Novak Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov break rackets at French Open

Novak Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov break rackets at French Open

In the final tiebreak, Djokovic had a set point three times, but could not deliver.

Once again we're forced to ask: Is Novak Djokovic back? I know it's hard right after the match, but I need to - I mean, I have always been a positive thinker, and I want to keep that on the same level right now.

Cecchinato had not won a single grand slam match until he arrived at Roland Garros, but the 25-year-old is now the first Italian to reach the semi-final since Corrado Barazzutti 40 years ago.

Seeded 20th after a well-documented slump, Djokovic blunted Verdasco's explosive firepower with his signature counter-punching to book an unlikely last-eight date with Marco Cecchinato.

The storm seemed to have blown itself out and Djokovic served for the set at 5-3.

Djokovic was back with his former coach, Marián Vajda, who said Djokovic was not at his best at Roland Garros, but improving.

In an epic fourth set tiebreaker, Djokovic saved three match points but wasted three set points as Cecchinato became the lowest-ranked man in the semi-finals in Paris since 100th-ranked Andrei Medvedev in 1999.

Woods holes out for eagle, Spieth heading for cut
That was enough for him to earn special temporary membership on the PGA Tour , meaning he can get unlimited sponsor exemptions. Woods was another shot behind, and it looked as though he was about to post his lowest score of the year.

He was suspended for 18 months by the Italian tennis federation in July 2016 before later being cleared of any wrongdoing. Eventually, the Italian Olympic Committee announced that sanctions were dropped on a technicality.

Thiem boasts being the only player to have defeated Rafael Nadal on clay prior to Roland Garros this year in the Madrid quarter-finals, ending the 10-time French Open champion's 21-match winning streak on clay.

Seventh seed Dominic Thiem muscled his way into the fourth round of the French Open, putting out Italian claycourt specialist Marco Berrettini 6-3 6-7 (5) 6-3 6-2 to set up a tie with Nishikori.

The Bulgarian reached the semi-finals at the Monte Carlo Masters and the last eight in Barcelona, but he suffered first-round exits at the Madrid Open and the Internazionali d'Italia. I lost to him earlier this year I think in a tight match. Perhaps the most remarkable part of this result was that Djokovic repeatedly failed to close out the fourth set and force a fifth.

Djokovic saluted Cecchinato who he warmly embraced at the net.

Still, Djokovic did appear to be gathering momentum, taking the third set and moving out to a lead in the fourth. Cecchinato's run here, however, has been just as impressive.

The 34-year-old Verdasco will next face either his compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut or former champion Novak Djokovic for a quarter-final spot.

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