Novak Djokovic will now face Karen Khachanov in the fourth round at Roland Garros.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his third round match against Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan Riveros, Roland Garros, Paris, France, October 3, 2020.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his third round match against Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan Riveros, Roland Garros, Paris, France, October 3, 2020. (Reuters)

World number one Novak Djokovic continues his imperious progress at the French Open.

On Saturday, the Serbian effortlessly reached the last 16 for the 11th straight year after beating Columbian Daniel Galan 6-0 6-3 6-2.

The 33-year-old was rarely extended by his 153rd-ranked opponent and even found time to double up as a court sweeper when the match was briefly interrupted by rain.

Djokovic, like 12-time champion Rafa Nadal, has reached the fourth round without the loss of a set although things will toughen up with powerful Russian Karen Khachanov up next.

The Serb won the first set in 28 minutes and when he broke for a 2-0 lead in the second set a rare 'triple bagel' looked a possibility.

But Galan, a lucky loser from qualifying, got on the board with a rasping forehand winner which brought loud cheers from the small crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Heavy rain

With heavy rain falling and the new roof sliding slowly across, meaning Galan was exposed to the elements and Djokovic was not, the Serb ordered the chair umpire to halt play after his opponent slipped during a rally on the muddy baseline.

After groundsmen with wheelbarrows had spread more clay across the court to improve the slimy surface, a laughing Djokovic offered a hand, grabbing a sweeper, before resuming his day job with the roof closed.

Djokovic was surprised the roof had not been closed earlier.

"I saw the forecast and it didn't look good at all," he said. "If you have a roof why not use it. I thought we lost quite a bit of time."

Bid for 18th Grand Slam title

He has certainly not been wasting any time so far in the French capital and once play resumed the outcome was never in doubt, although Galan did make the world number one work up a sweat with some courageous tennis of his own.

Djokovic, bidding for his second title at Roland Garros and 18th Grand Slam, saved four break points in a competitive third set before completing his 71st French Open match win, taking him past Roger Federer into second place behind Nadal who has 96. 

READ MORE: Djokovic in cruise control at Roland Garros as row sparks video replay call

Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning his second round match against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, Roland Garros, Paris, France October 1, 2020.
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning his second round match against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, Roland Garros, Paris, France October 1, 2020. (Reuters)

Arab landmark for Jabeur

Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas made the fourth round for a second successive year when Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene retired with a right foot injury.

The 22-year-old was on court for just 80 minutes and was leading 6-1, 6-2, 3-1 when Bedene called it quits.

Next up for Tsitsipas is Bulgarian 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov who also profitted from a retirement with Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-3 down when he gave up due to illness.

The Spaniard had shocked ninth seed Denis Shapovalov in the previous round but that five-hour epic came back to haunt him.

Russian 13th seed Andrey Rublev, the champion on clay in Hamburg on the eve of Roland Garros, eased past veteran South African Kevin Anderson in just 94 minutes.

Rublev didn't face a break point in his 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win as he moved into the last 16 for the first time where he will face world number 63 Marton Fucsovics, the first Hungarian man in the second week since Balazs Taroczy in 1984.

READ MORE: Halep, Nadal, Thiel power into French Open last 16

Tunisia's Ons Jabeur in action during her third round match against Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka,  Roland Garros, Paris, France October 3, 2020.
Tunisia's Ons Jabeur in action during her third round match against Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka, Roland Garros, Paris, France October 3, 2020. (Reuters)

'Encouraging me'

Tunisia's Ons Jabeur became the first Arab woman to make the last 16 with a 7-6 (9/7), 2-6, 6-3 win over Belarusian eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Jabeur, seeded 30, who made the quarter-finals at the Australian Open in January, next faces 57th-ranked American Danielle Collins who stunned 2016 champion and 11th seed Garbine Muguruza 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

"The people in Tunisia are really encouraging me a lot. Media, I'm not sure," said Jabeur.

American fourth seed and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin eased through with a 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Romanian qualifier Irina Bara.

Kenin, who defeated Serena Williams in the fo urth round last year, will face unseeded French player Fiona Ferro.

Zhang Shuai became the first Chinese woman to reach the last 16 since former champion Li Na in 2012.

Zhang, 31, defeated French wildcard, and world number 357, Clara Burel 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 and will next face seventh seed Petra Kvitova who came back from 1-5 down in the first set and saved two set points to see off 18-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez 7-5, 6-3.

Spain's Paula Badosa, ranked at 87, wept in her courtside chair as she reached the round of 16 at a Slam for the first time.

The 2015 junior champion, who put out former US Open winner Sloane Stephens in the last round, defeated 2017 champion in Paris Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-3.

Ostapenko was undone by 43 unforced errors and 10 double faults.

READ MORE: Serena pulls out of French Open with Achilles injury

Source: Reuters