Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: Tiziana FABI, Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP 21:19 p.m., June 04, 2023

Novak Djokovic and world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, victorious by the same score on Sunday, are only one victory away from giving life for good to Roland-Garros in the semi-final shock anticipated from the draw.

First of the two main favorites of the Parisian Grand Slam, in the absence of Rafael Nadal who has just undergone arthroscopy on the left hip, to invest the Center Court Sunday afternoon, Djokovic did not linger, unsurprisingly. Facing Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas, 94th in the world and who had never won a single Grand Slam match before Roland-Garros, the 36-year-old Serb closed the game 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in less than two hours by playing his "best tennis since the beginning" of the Parisian fortnight.

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"A lot of confidence"

"Today's performance obviously gives me a lot of confidence about my feelings and my game," said the current world No. 3. The result is one more record: the number of quarter-finals at Roland-Garros. On the home court of Nadal, who has triumphed there fourteen times, Djokovic reaches this stage of the tournament for the 17th time in his career. One more than 'Rafa'.

His opponent in the quarterfinals will be Russian puncher Karen Khachanov. The world number 11, semifinalist of the last two Grand Slams (US Open 2022 and Australian Open 2023), upset Italian Lorenzo Sonego (48th) 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9/7), 6-1. "I know what my goal is here," Djokovic said. In Paris, he has, for the first time, the opportunity to become the first man with 23 Grand Slam titles to his name. Again, it would make him one more than Nadal.

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Alcaraz extinguished Musetti

Entering the Central after Djokovic, Alcaraz extinguished on the same score, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, he in just over two hours, the talented Italian Lorenzo Musetti (18th), another face of the new generation of world tennis, of which we expected a completely different resistance. But his sparkling record of 42 winning shots against only 23 direct faults says a lot about the quality of play offered by the world No. 1.

"I played at a great level, my shots were of great quality, I played a really complete match," said Carlitos, who quickly had answers to almost everything and did not let Musetti breathe, despite having a better start. Qualified for the quarter-finals, the 20-year-old Spaniard equals his best result on the Parisian clay. He was stopped there by Alexander Zverev, then in the top 5 in the world, a year ago. For a place in the last four, he will face either the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, world number 5, or the Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner (118th).