US Open 2018: Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic through to fourth round

  • Posted: Sep 02, 2018
2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Novak Djokovic stayed on course for a quarter-final meeting with Roger Federer after beating France’s Richard Gasquet in straight sets to move into the US Open last 16.

Sixth seed Djokovic, US Open champion 2011 and 2015, won 6-2 6-3 6-3 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

It was his 13th victory over Gasquet in 14 career meetings.

“It was a great match from the beginning to the end,” said Djokovic, who will next face unseeded Joao Sousa.

If he beats the Portuguese, the world number six could face second seed Federer in the quarter-finals. The Swiss takes on Australia’s John Millman in his fourth-round match.

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Djokovic cruised through the first two sets against Gasquet, 32, but had to fight off two break points when 3-2 up in the third.

He let out a roar after coming out on top in a rally that had the stands rocking.

“Obviously in the third set Richard raised his level. The crowd was amazing toward the end of the match, it was a real night session match here at the US Open,” added the Serb.

Portuguese Sousa upset 17th seed Lucas Pouille of France 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5).

“He’s a fighter, he’s a grinder,” Djokovic said of Sousa. “He will not hand you the victory, you’ve got to earn it.”

Former champion Marin Cilic reached the fourth round after a tough match against 19-year-old Australian Alex De Minaur that finished at 2:22am local time – one of the latest finishes in the history of the US Open.

The Croat clinched a 4-6 3-6 6-3 6-4 7-5 victory on his eighth match point against De Minaur, who has risen rapidly this season.

Cilic praised his opponent’s “incredible fighting spirit”.

“He was fighting his heart out and it was just an insane match,” added Cilic. “He played some amazing tennis and really a couple of points were taking him away from the victory. I was just a little bit luckier today.”

The match was just four minutes short of the record for the latest finish of 2.26am, which has happened on three occasions – between Mats Wilander and Mikael Pernfors in 1993, Philipp Kohlschreiber and John Isner in 2012 and Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic in 2014.

Cilic will face 10th seed David Goffin on Monday.

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