Marco Cecchinato stuns former champion Novak Djokovic at French Open

Novak Djokovic tennis results

Still, Djokovic did appear to be gathering momentum, taking the third set and moving out to a lead in the fourth. "I was cool. Clear-headed".

On court, Cédric Pioline, the former French star, started the post-match interview by reassuring Cecchinato, "You're not dreaming".

2016 champion Djokovic, in a 12th Roland Garros quarter-final and 40th at the majors, is bidding to reach his 32nd Grand Slam semi-final when he faces world number 72 Cecchinato.

Initially banned for 18 months by the Italian Tennis Federation, which accused him of conspiring to fix two matches and using confidential information for gambling, his punishment was reduced to 12 months on appeal and then, after an appeal to the Italian Olympic Association.

He has declined to discuss the case in Paris.

"It was an awesome, high-level match", said Zverev.

Novak Djokovic is facing the gravest crisis of his career after a shock French Open defeat to Italian journeyman Marco Cecchinato left him contemplating missing Wimbledon to rebuild his game and reboot his state of mind.

"He is one of the fittest guys on the tour so it was hard for him today", said Thiem, the only man to have defeated 10-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal on clay this year.

The Italian made his Grand Slam debut at the US Open back in 2015, where he was defeated in straight sets by American Mark Fish.

More news: Serena rallies over Barty to reach third round

After fighting through three consecutive five-set match-wins, Zverev is still on track to be the first German men's champion at Roland Garros since 1937. However, in the fourth set, Cecchinato showed enormous strength and unbelievable tennis to eventually take the match.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic with Spain's Fernando Verdasco after winning their fourth round match.

Djokovic smashed his racquet after missing a simple forehand close to the net and there were further signs of frustration when he fell behind early in the next set, too.

Djokovic, Cecchinato said, "seemed unsure of himself at the beginning".

Djokovic won 144 points to Cecchinato's 140 in the end but was surprisingly less effective in the clutch plays, one particular area of his game that seemingly still needs recovery.

"In the most important moments I managed to play an extra shot in the court, made him run and made him uncomfortable".

'And the one that won deserved to win the match, and that was Marco today.

"I definitely need to take some time off now to kind of reassess the whole clay-court season, to be honest", said Dimitrov.

Cecchinato is full of confidence, probably the most confident player out there right now.

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