An ugly Novak Djokovic had to dig deep against Tallon Griekspoor, but the Serbian star finally made it through to his ninth quarter-final match in the Paris Masters tournament.
The 36-year-old player lost the first set, but he was able to fight back old habits to clinch the showdown with 4-6, 7-6 and 6-4.
He admitted after the match that he had been struggling with a stomach ailment for a while.
“I started well, but then quickly lost steam. I haven’t been feeling well for a few days and I wasn’t myself at all on the track. Fortunately, the ball bounced right for me a few times and I gradually started to feel and play better,” said Djokovic.
He praised his Dutch opponent for his fiery performance.
“However, I don’t want to take the spotlight away from Tallon’s great game at all. He played at a fast pace and if he had won the match, he would have certainly deserved it.”
Djokovic will play Holger Rune later today in one of the tournament’s quarter-finals.
However, the 20-year-old Dane knows how to deal with the world’s leading player – after all, he beat him 3-6, 6-3 and 7-5 in the final of the Paris tournament last year.
Novak Djokovic beats Tallon Griekspoor with 4-6, 7-6 and 6-4
Holger Rune beat Daniel Altmaier 6-3 and 6-3
Hubert Hurkacz beat Francisco Cerundolo 6-4 and 6-3
Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 and 6-4
Andrey Rublev beat Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3 and 6-3
Jannik Sinner beat Mackenzie McDonald 6-7, 7-5 and 6-1
Quarter Final Fixtures:
Hubert Hurkacz vs. Grigor Dimitrov
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Karen Khachanov
Novak Djokovic against Holger Rune
Alex de Minaur against Andrey Rublev