Djokovic labors into French Open quarter-finals
By Julien Pretot
PARIS (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic recovered from a mediocre start to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Wednesday with a 3-6 6-4 6-1 7-5 rain-delayed victory over plucky Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
The world number one, chasing the only grand slam title to elude him, will take on either former runner-up David Ferrer of Spain or Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych.
After conceding the opening set in damp conditions on Tuesday, Serbian Djokovic played tighter and had won the second set and was 4-1 ahead in the third when rain cut short his victory charge on day 10 of the championships.
Back on Court Philippe Chatrier on Wednesday for a match that should have been played on Monday, Djokovic closed it out but encountered stiff resistance from the 14th seed, who forced him into lung-busting rallies.
"He's a player with great qualities on claycourts. I have the feeling I played three matches against him," said Djokovic, wearing courtside interviewer Fabrice Santoro's yellow rain hat.
"I had to come back focused today."
The match started a day late after Roland Garros suffered its first washout in 16 years. A second delay was threatened on Tuesday as steady drizzle fell on Paris and Djokovic found it hard to adjust.