World No.1 Novak Djokovic already holds the Wimbledon, U.S. and Australian Open titles.
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World No.1 Novak Djokovic already holds the Wimbledon, U.S. and Australian Open titles.

Story highlights

Top seed Novak Djokovic eases into the French Open round of 16

The world No.1 beat qualifier Nicolas Devilder 6-1 6-2 6-2

16-time grand slam winner Roger Federer battles past Nicolas Mahut

Fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No.7 Tomas Berdych also advance

CNN —  

World No.1 Novak Djokovic and third seed Roger Federer remain on course for a semifinal showdown at the French Open after both men recorded third round wins on Friday.

But while top seed Djokovic cruised to a 6-1 6-2 6-2 victory over qualifier Nicolas Devilder, 16-time grand slam winner Federer was made to sweat against France’s Nicolas Mahut.

Switzerland’s Federer looked to be in control as he took the first set in 29 minutes, but the 89th-ranked Mahut battled back before eventually slipping to a 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5 defeat.

When asked about his opponent, the 30-year-old Federer told the ATP Tour’s official website: “I thought he did well. I struggled a little bit, but overall obviously I’m happy I came through.”

Federer will play Belgium’s David Goffin in the round of 16 after the 21-year-old beat Pole Lukasz Kubot.

Serbia’s Djokovic is bidding to become the first man in 43 years to hold all four grand slam titles. His challenge will continue against Italian No. 22 Andreas Seppi, who got the better of 14th seed Fernando Verdasco.

“He’s a good guy, a very hard worker and a very solid player on all surfaces,” Djokovic said of Seppi. “But I think clay is his most preferred.

“He has had some really good wins, last one against Verdasco. We all know the quality of Verdasco. So I will prepare for that match, as always, wanting to win.”

Home-crowd favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the fourth round with a straight-sets win against Italy’s Fabio Fognini.

The fifth seed will meet Switzerland’s Stanislaw Wawrinka, after the No.18 upset the odds to defeat France’s No. 11 Gilles Simon 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-2 in a five-set marathon.

Czech Tomas Berdych set up an encounter with 2009 U.S. Open winner Juan Martin del Potro by registering a grueling 6-4 3-6 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 win over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.

Ninth seed Del Potro scored a 6-3 7-6 (9-7) 6-1 win against Croatian No.21 Marin Cilic.