Novak Djokovic defeated Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6 6-4 6-1 7-5 in his fourth-round match at Roland Garros in Paris on Tuesday after play was suspended due to rain.

Novak Djokovic Wins Fourth-Round Match At French Open Before Rain Stops Play

The World No. 1 Serb, a three-time finalist who has never won the French Open, struggled in the first set against 14th seed Bautista Agut. Play was temporarily stopped for about three hours at approximately 12:47 local time after inclement weather yet again marred the tournament.

Djokovic, 29, admitted that coach Boris Becker and the rest of his team had helped him turn the game around after a shake start in poor weather on Tuesday.

“With my coaching team, we had some tough talks on Tuesday night,” he said. “But I came back today with more intensity even though it was a tough mental and physical battle.”


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The victory also brought the Serb the distinction of becoming the first man to break the $100m mark in prize money.

Djokovic will now advance to the quarter-finals to face Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych, who defeated Spain’s David Ferrer 6-3 7-5 6-3.

Fellow World No. 1 Serena Williams also made it through to the quarter-finals after 18th-seed Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-1 in their equally rain-delayed fourth-round match. Williams finished off Svitolina in just 62 minutes, thus making it 18 consecutive sets for the American at Roland Garros.

She will next face unseeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, who defeated Spanish 12th seed Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5 7-5 – the first of a potential four matches in four days.

“Four in a row? When we play regular tournaments you play four, five matches in a row. It’s what happens,” said Williams, 34. “It’s something you just get used to. It’s totally fine I think for me and for everyone.”

Venus Williams did not fare as well as her younger sister, falling 6-2 6-4 to Swiss eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky. 

It was later announced that several matches–including Britain No. 1 Andy Murray’s opening match against France’s Richard Gasquet and defending Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka– would be postponed to the following day.

After Monday’s play was completely washed out, tournament director Guy Forget defended the fact that 121 minutes of play – two more than necessary to refund ticket-holders – took place on Court Philippe Chatrier on Tuesday.

Bautista Agut had claimed after his loss to Djokovic that tournament officials had “pushed us to play two hours”, while defeated seeds Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep also criticized the decision to continue playing in wet conditions.

Ferrer was even harsher with his criticism. “The players are those who mean the least to the organizers,” said the Spaniard after his loss to Berdych. “They want to make money, it may look good to some, but I think this is a scam.”

Nevertheless, Forget insisted that all decisions regarding whether play should continue in such cases are made for sporting rather than financial reasons.

“The decision to suspend or resume play lies solely with tournament referee Stefan Fransson. Respect for the game always takes precedence,” said Forget.

“If what we are being accused of were true, it would have been in our best interests as organizers to stop play before the one-hour 59-minute mark as our insurer would have been responsible for ticket reimbursement.”

PHOTO: PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 24: Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand during the Men’s Singles first round match against Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei on day three of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on May 24, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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