What’s on the line for Djokovic & Nadal at Roland Garros Day 8

 

By Ros Satar, in Paris

  • Novak Djokovic [2] v Albert-Ramos Vinolas [19]
  • Rafael Nadal [4] v Roberto Bautista Agut [17]
PARIS, FRANCE – Both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are on the verge of ticking off a few more stats as Roland Garros hits the second week – we take a look at what’s on the line in their fourth round matches.

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Novak Djokovic [2] v Albert-Ramos Vinolas [19]

Should Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal they win today they will advance to their 11th Roland Garros quarter-finals, joining Roger Federer at the top of the list for the most French Open quarter-final appearances in the Open Era. Djokovic, who had a scratchy five-setter against Diego Schwartzman is looking for an eighth straight Last-Eight appearance, and would put him in second place in the Open Era list of consecutive quarter-final appearances at Roland Garros.

Now without the guidance of Andre Agassi, Djokovic will be bidding for his 59th match-win at Roland Garros which would put him third behind Nadal (75) and Federer (65) as he faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who has been in solid form all this clay court season.

Of course a loss here would make him the first defending champion to lose before the quarter-finals since Nadal, in 2009. Given that he has never lost a round four match, Djokovic’s first week losses came in his debut as a qualifier (R2, 2005) and in the third round in 2009.

After completing a career Grand Slam last year, defeating Andy Murray in the final, Djokovic is now looking to become the first man in the Open Era and just the third man in history to win each of the four Grand Slam titles twice, behind Rod Laver and Roy Emerson. He faces Ramos-Vinolas for the fourth time and leads their head to head 3-0. The Spaniard has been very consistent this clay court season – Djokovic and Ramos-Vinolas are featured in our Roland Garros Day 8 Three to See

 

Rafael Nadal [4] v Roberto Bautista Agut [17]

Rafael Nadal – 2017 Roland Garros (c) Christopher Johnson

There are Spaniards a-plenty in the draw today as Nadal takes on the ever-consistent Roberto Bautista Agut in just their second meeting. They are two of five Spaniards to meet in what is the 81st all-Spanish clash at Roland Garros in the Open Era. Nadal is a formidable opponent for the rest of the Spanish Armada – he has a 12-0 win-loss record alongside a 19-3 win-loss record against his compatriots at Grand Slams overall.

He has only lost to David Ferrer (2007 US Open and 2011 Australian Open) and Fernando Verdasco (2016 Australian Open). He targets his 11th French Open quarter-final to tie with Federer as he bids for his 31st Grand Slam quarter-final, chasing down Ivan Lendl’s 34 appearances.

Nadal has looked dominant thus far, powering past Benoit Paire, Robin Haase and Nikoloz Basilashvili for the loss of just of just 15 games but in truth has yet to be tested. If he wins today he will play either No. 5 seed Milos Raonic, or another compatriot No. 20 seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who has also been enjoying a strong year.

Of course we all know it’s La Decima on the line for Nadal once again, having win his 10th titles at both the Monte Carlo Masters and Barcelona earlier this year, putting him as the firm favourite to lift the crown one more time on the terre battue of Paris.

Djokovic is scheduled on Court Philippe Chatrier, not before 4pm (3pm BST) and Nadal is scheduled on Court Suzanne Lenglen, not before 12:30pm (11:30am BST).

Featured Credit Image: Christopher Johnson

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