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French Open: Day Eight - Djokovic goes the distance, Federer bends but doesn't break
After watching most of the top seeds cruise through the opening rounds of play at the 2012 French Open, Day Eight of competition finally brought some much needed drama to the men's side of the draw. Top seed Novak Djokovic was pushed to the brink of elimination, before coming from behind to advance to the quarterfinals. While Roger Federer dropped the opening set of his match before rallying for the victory.
Edmonton - June 4, 2012 - After watching almost all the top seeds cruise through the opening three rounds of play at this year's French Open, Day Eight of competition final brought some much needed drama to the men's side of the draw.. Number one seed Novak Djokovic was pushed to the brink of elimination by Andreas Seppi, before coming from behind to advance to the quarterfinals. While Roger Federer dropped the opening set to David Goffin, before rallying to beat the youngster in four sets.
Things could not have got off to a worse start for Djokovic, dropping the first two sets to the seemingly over matched Italian. Right from the outset, the Super Serb seemed off and looked to be heading for an early exit for only the second time in his last seven trips to Paris. Luckily for top ranked men's player, he righted the ship early in the third set and rode his never say die attitude, all the way back to victory. The 4-6, 6-7, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 win took well over four hours to play and further demonstrates that Djokovic is not the unbeatable force he was during his magical run last season.
While Federer did not receive the same type of scare as his friend and rival, he was pushed by the up and coming Belgian. After struggling with his serve throughout the first two sets, the former French Open champ found his groove in the next two. With the match even at a set a piece, Roger went from serving 55% in the first couple of sets, to 70% over the final two, including him going a perfect twelve for twelve on his first serve in the third set. Not surprisingly, once the third seed found the mark, there was little Goffin could do to slow him down. The hard fought 5-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 victory means that Federer will be making his eighth consecutive appearance in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros
The other two fourth round matches were both suspended until today, which should lead to a few more dramatic moments in the round of sixteen. When play resumes, hometown favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be serving to go up 5-2, in the fifth set of his wonderful battle against Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka. If Tsonga can hold on and close things out against Wawrinka, the Frenchman will take on Djokovic in one of the quarterfinals.
The Tomas Berdych vs Juan Martin Del Potro matchup looked to be the most entertaining draw in the fourth round and the two certainly did not disappoint. When play was suspended Del Potro had just taken the third set in convincing fashion, to take a two sets to one lead. While the big Argentine will be looking to close their match out as soon as possible, look for this one to ultimately go the full five. Whichever of these men survive and get through to the quarters, they will have the unenviable task of taking on Federer for a chance at the semi-finals.
On top of finishing yesterday's matches, other notables in action include the two top Spanish players in the world, with both Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer looking to advance to the final eight. While fourth seed Andy Murray will undoubtedly have his hands full with France's Richard Gasquet.
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