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Convincing win for Djokovic
World number one Novak Djokovic was at his clinical best as he despatched France's Nicolas Devilder in three sets to reach the French Open last 16 and ensure a day off on Saturday.
Fourth on the day's schedule and with Stanislas Wawrinka and Gilles Simon's epic having ensured a late start, there was a risk of Djokovic being detained on Court Suzanne Lenglen until the playable light expired.
But the three-time semi-finalist blasted to a 6-1 6-2 6-2 triumph in one hour and 44 minutes to set up a clash with Andreas Seppi.
Djokovic has never reached the final at Roland Garros, losing to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of 2007 and 2008 and Roger Federer last year, and is likely to have to overcome the Swiss superstar if he is to end that hoodoo and keep alive his dream of holding all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously.
First up is Seppi, who he will not take lightly, but the manner of the win over Devilder will serve as a warning to the Italian. Djokovic broke serve in the second game of the match and repeated the feat to take a 4-0 lead in the first set.
Devilder served out with the help of his third ace to remain in the set at 5-1 but it was only a brief delay for Djokovic as he completed his next service game, and a half-hour set, in the same fashion.
Djokovic was immediately under way in the new set with a break wrapped up by a delicate drop-volley - but Devilder showed his quality as he immediately broke back to rapturous acclaim from his home crowd. A third game in succession went against serve as the world number one reasserted his authority, adding a further break to open up a 4-1 lead.
An impudent backhand flick took Djokovic to 5-1 but he was unable to repeat the shot in the first point of the next game and the Frenchman held. It mattered little, though, as the favourite sealed the set in his next service game.
The third set started in familiar fashion with a Djokovic break, which this time he defended, and when he opened up a 3-0 lead the match looked as good as over.
Devilder held to reach 4-1 and then forced two break points but Djokovic held and, shortly afterwards, served out more convincingly to love, finishing the match with a blistering forehand which seemed to surprise even him.