Novak Djokovic rebounded from two sets down to continue his quest at the French Open to become the first man in 43 years to hold all four Grand Slam tennis titles at the same time.
The Serb defeated Italy’s Andreas Seppi in the fourth round at Roland Garros. The world No. 1 won 4-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 on a cold and windy day at the main Court Philippe Chatrier.
It was just the third time the 25-year-old came back from two sets down to win a match. He was threatening to drop out at the earliest point of a major since he lost in the third round in Paris in 2009. Before today, Djokovic had won all seven matches -- losing only two sets -- he’d played against 28-year-old Seppi.
Earlier today, women’s top seed Victoria Azarenka also lost. She was beaten by No. 15 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).
Serbia’s Djokovic, 25, is trying to win his fourth straight major title to complete a non-calendar Grand Slam. The last man to do so is Australia’s Rod Laver, who swept the titles in 1969. Laver, who also achieved the feat in 1962, and American Don Budge in 1938 are the only men to win four in a row in one calendar year.
Djokovic had his breakthrough year in 2011, when he didn’t lose until June. He won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and rose to the top of the sport. He’d started 2012 with a win against defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal in the finals of the Australian Open in a match that lasted almost six hours.
Djokovic entered the French Open, where he lost in the semifinals last year to Federer, without a title on clay this season.
After beating Nadal in seven straight finals, Djokovic lost to the Spaniard in the finals of Monte Carlo and Rome before Roland Garros.
In an interview in Rome, Djokovic said he’d been dreaming about winning Roland Garros.
“In my dream, I never looked at the scoreboard, but I did remember myself lifting the trophy,” he said. “I feel confident, I feel that I have enough qualities to win against anybody on this surface on a given day.”