Nole overcame the third round challenge to progress into the last 16 in Paris.

Third seed Novak Djokovic advanced to the fourth round of Roland Garros on Friday afternoon, following a hard-fought win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-2.

The first two sets on Court Philippe-Chatrier were entertaining and full of twists. Novak and Alejandro exchanged breaks twice in the opening set and three times in the second. The 36-year-old Serbian star went on to win both tie-breaks for a two sets to love lead against the 29th seed from Spain.

Djokovic took control in the third set for a hard-earned three-hour, 36-minute victory, continuing his quest towards a record 23rd major.

“I knew it was going to be a very difficult match, a very physical match,” the two-time French Open champion said. “We played three hours for only two sets. He contested very well. He is an amazing fighter and an amazing player. He has very few weaknesses in his game. Congratulations to him for fighting. Bad luck, but he played a great match. A win is a win. The first two sets, three hours, I thought if I lose the second set, I will probably be playing five hours today. You have to be ready. That is what Grand Slams are all about, playing best of five. You have to believe in yourself and make the most out of it. I am proud of the performance today.”

Match statistics: aces (1-3), double faults (6-2), winners (27-34), unforced errors (38-51), total points won (124-110).

Novak is through to the fourth round at Roland Garros for the 14th year in a row.

His next rival will be Juan Pablo Varillas (ESP, ATP #94) who defeated 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz (POL) in five sets.

Photo: Profimedia

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