Novak Djokovic advances to his 17th quarterfinal at the French Open, setting a new record, by defeating Juan Pablo Varillas.

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CNN  — 

During a sunny yet windy afternoon in Paris, Novak Djokovic surpassed one of Rafael Nadal’s French Open records and advanced to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.

Djokovic defeated Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas in a 6-3 6-2 6-2 match on Sunday, securing his spot in the quarterfinals of the French Open for the 17th time. This sets a new record, surpassing Rafael Nadal’s 16 appearances due to his absence.

Aldila Sutjiadi of Indonesia & Miyu Kato of Japan in action during the first round of doubles at the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament on April 29, 2023.

Indonesian player Aldila Sutjiadi and Japanese player Miyu Kato were competing in the first round of doubles at the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament on April 29, 2023. However, they were disqualified from the French Open after accidentally hitting a ball girl with a ball.

The victory brought the Serbian player one step closer to breaking the men’s record for 23 career grand slam titles. Djokovic is currently tied with Nadal, who has announced that he will be taking a break from playing for at least five months due to a recent hip surgery, with both players holding 22 grand slam titles.

Varillas is currently ranked as the 94th best player in the world, but at Roland Garros, he made history by becoming the first Peruvian in 29 years to make it to the fourth round of a grand slam tournament.

He was unable to defeat the third-ranked player in the world, Djokovic. Djokovic will face the 11th seeded Russian, Karen Khachanov, in his next match.

The Serb has had a contentious week after garnering attention for sharing a political statement regarding Kosovo earlier in the competition. He later affirmed his stance on the matter.

Following his success in the initial round on Monday, Djokovic inscribed the message “Kosovo is the [heart symbol] of Serbia. Stop the violence” onto a television camera lens. This was a reaction to the recent outbursts of aggression in Kosovo, where tensions have been escalating since the country declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

“Although many may hold differing opinions, Djokovic stated on Wednesday following his win over Márton Fucsovics from Hungary, ‘It is what it is.’ It is a stance I firmly believe in.”

“I don’t believe a drama-free grand slam is possible for me,” he stated on Wednesday. “I suppose that also motivates me.”


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