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Djokovic fights back to reach French quarters

novak-djokovicParis - World No. 1 Novak Djokovic came from behind to win his fourth-round match Monday at the 2013 French Open.

Last year's Roland Garros runner-up dropped the first set on Day 9 of the fortnight before charging back to dismiss 16th-seeded German Phillip Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in 2 hours, 42 minutes on Court Chatrier.

Kohlschreiber secured the lone break of the first stanza to grab a one-set lead, but Djokovic recorded the only breaks en route to claiming the second a third sets and broke Kohlschreiber by a 2-1 margin in the fourth set en route to victory.

The 26-year-old Djokovic is now third on the men's Open Era list with 16 straight trips into a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Djokovic played for the first time after learning over the weekend that his childhood coach and the person who first recognized his exceptional talent, Jelena Gencic, died in Belgrade on Saturday at the age of 77.

The mighty Djokovic reached his first-ever French Open final last year, only to lose to the great Rafael Nadal. The reigning Australian Open champ needs Roland Garros to complete a career Grand Slam.

Djokovic's quarterfinal opponent will be resurgent German Tommy Haas, who looked impressive in a straight-set rout of Russian Mikhail Youzhny. Djokovic is 4-3 lifetime versus Haas.

Haas cruised to a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Youzhny in just 90 minutes to reach the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the first time. He has been to at least the round of eight in each of the other three Grand Slams.

In addition, the 35-year-old German became the oldest quarterfinalist in a major since Andre Agassi at the 2005 U.S. Open and became the oldest French Open quarterfinalist since a 39-year-old Istvan Gulyas in 1971. He is also the first German in the French quarters since Michael Stich and Bernd Karbacher in 1996.

The 12th-seeded Haas, a champion in Munich last month, needed 13 match points to finally finish off John Isner in the third round on Saturday, but had little trouble against Youzhny. The Russian beat Haas in the first round of the Italian Masters last month and took the first game on Monday, then proceeded to lose 10 straight on his way to a quick exit.

Two other men's fourth-round matches are on Monday's schedule, as seven-time champion Rafael Nadal is currently facing Japan's Kei Nishikori and seventh-seeded French favorite Richard Gasquet is battling ninth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka.

The first two quarterfinals were set Sunday. Roger Federer rallied past Gilles Simon in a five-set thriller and will play Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while a battle of Spaniards will pit David Ferrer against Tommy Robredo, who on Sunday rallied from a two-set deficit for the third straight match.

Tags: French Open | Novak Djokovic | tennis | Tommy Haas

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