Can any­one stop the $100m man?

Djokovic makes his­tory and seals last-eight spot

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

N ovak Djokovic fi­nally over­came Roberto Bautista-Agut and the Parisian weather to be­come the first player in the his­tory of the game to earn $100 mil­lion in prize money.

Of course the stag­ger­ing sum, achieved by reach­ing the last eight at Roland Gar­ros, will mean lit­tle to the Ser­bian should be fail in his at­tempt to win the one Grand Slam that has avoided his grasp.

Djokovic has been the dom­i­nant force in men’s tennis for the last few years, rack­ing up ti­tle wins and over­tak­ing Roger Fed­erer at the top of the money-earn­ing list.

But the French Open crown is what Djokovic re­ally de­sires. On three oc­ca­sions he has lost in the fi­nal, twice to Rafa Nadal and once to Stan Wawarinka, his dreams of a ca­reer Grand Slam be­ing crushed at the fi­nal hur­dle. Now, af­ter se­cur­ing a 3-6 6-4 6-1 7-5 win against Bautista-Agut, Djokovic faces an­other ma­jor chal­lenge when he plays sev­enth seed Thomas Berdych in the quar­ter-fi­nals. The Czech ace has ad­vanced be­yond the fourth round at Roland Gar­ros for only the third time in 13 at­tempt, but re­mains a dan­ger­ous player. He brushed aside 2013 run­ner-up David Fer­rer 6-3 7-5 6-3 and pos­sesses the weapons to hurt Djokovic. But the world No. 1 said af­ter his vic­tory that he felt he had an “ex­tra gear” and will cer­tainly take some stop­ping in his quest to win all four ma­jor ti­tles.

Should Djokovic come through his quar­ter-fi­nal then he could face ris­ing star Do­minic Thiem (pic­tured left).

The 22-year-old reached his first Grand Slam quar­ter-fi­nal by beat­ing Mar­cel Gra­nollers 6-2 6-7 6-1 6-4 and will now play David Gof­fin.

The Aus­trian’s pre­vi­ous best at a ma­jor was mak­ing the fourth round at the US Open in 2014.

In the women’s draw, un­seeded Yu­lia Putint­seva reached the last eight at a ma­jor tour­na­ment for the first time, beat­ing Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5 7-5.

Kiki Bertens also reached her first Grand Slam quar­ter­fi­nal by beat­ing Amer­i­can Madi­son Keys 7-6 6-3.

Putint­seva will now play world No. 1 Ser­ena Wil­liams af­ter her 6-1 6-1 thrash­ing of Elina Svi­tolina, while Bertens faces Switzer­land’s Timea Bac­sin­szky who beat seven-time ma­jor win­ner Venus Wil­liams 6-2 6-4.

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