Djokovic and Gauff reach last eight at French Open

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Top seed Novak Djokovic bludgeoned his way past 15th seed Diego Schwartzman on Sunday to progress to the last eight at the French Open. American teenager Coco Gauff also advanced to the last eight with a straight sets dismissal of Elise Mertens.

Djokovic, who had never lost to the Argentine, claimed their seventh meeting 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 15 minutes. Djokovic swept through the first set 6-1.

But Schwartzman, a semi-finalist in 2020, broke early to lead 3-1 in the second set.

But he could not maintain his advantage against the defending champion.

Djokovic won the next six games to collect the second set and take the early lead in the third.

Schwartzman, seeded 15th, kept parity. But he was unable to stop the Serbian steamroller.

"Diego is an excellent clay court player but I served well throughout the match," said Djokovic after the victory.

He will play the winner of the match between fifth seed Rafael Nadal and the ninth seed Felix Auguer-Aliassime.

Just as his last-16 tie was ending on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Gauff was putting the finishing touches to her fourth round match against Mertens.

Solidity

Four breaks of serve pockmarked the first six games of the match amid some high quality rallies.

Gauff, 18, a quarter-finalist in 2021, got the most crucial of them all in the 10th game.

Mertens, the 31st seed, saved the first after a 31-shot exchange that brought roars and applause from the centre court crowd.

But a backhand into the net offered a second set point to the American which she converted courtesy of a forehand winner to take the opener after 57 minutes.

If the spectators thought a battle royal was impending, they were mistaken.

Gauff was imperious. The 18th seed raced into a 3-0 lead within 11 minutes and the match was over 15 minutes later.

"I knew it was going to be tough match," she said. "We played a three-setter last year so I'm happy to be through."

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