A breakdown of Wednesday’s quarter-final blockbuster between Djokovic and Zverev.

Top seed Novak Djokovic will face No.5 seed Alexander Zverev in the Roland-Garros quarter-finals on Wednesday on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Here’s a look at the main talking points surrounding that match-up.

Zverev could join elite company

Djokovic and Zverev are locked at 2-2 in previous meetings, with the 22-year-old German triumphing in their most recent clash in the title decider of the ATP Finals in London last November.

Zverev also won their only previous clay showdown, in the Rome final two years ago.

There are 80 players who have played Djokovic on four or more occasions, and only one of them has a winning record against the Serb – Andy Roddick (5-4). If Zverev wins on Wednesday, he would be just the second man to have a positive head-to-head against Djokovic, joining Roddick in that elite club.


First face-off at a major

This will be the first time Djokovic and Zverev play each other at a Grand Slam or in a best-of-five match. Their four previous meetings have never gone to a deciding set.

Novak nearly untouchable on serve

Djokovic leads the tournament in points won behind the first serve (84%) and has held serve in 50/52 service games so far.

Zverev’s 61 aces struck through his first four matches place him second on the tournament leaderboard for most aces (Djokovic has hit just 24). But the young German dropped serve 17 times so far this tournament.

Fatigue could prove a factor

Djokovic has breezed through his matches, spending just 6hr 46min on court en route to the last eight, and losing no more than four games per set.

Zverev in comparison has battled through 12hr 5min of tennis this fortnight, dropping five sets in total and facing tough opponents like Dusan Lajovic and Fabio Fognini. It will be interesting to see if he will have much energy to challenge Djokovic on Wednesday.

Happy to fly under the radar

With many eyes on Rafael Nadal, Djokovic, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka here, Zverev hasn’t really been in the spotlight much in Paris and he says he prefers it this way.

“For me, the best thing that could have happened for me is how good [Stefanos] Tsitsipas’ clay-court season was. That was the best thing that could have happened to me, to be honest,” Zverev admitted to reporters when asked if flying under the radar has helped him this tournament.

“I actually do believe that. I’m happy for him… But, yeah, as I said, he was kind of the new superstar all of a sudden. And for me, it was actually quite a nice thing that not all of the attention of the kind of Next Gen thing is only going towards my way.”

Gulf in experience

Djokovic is into an all-time record 10th consecutive Roland-Garros quarter-final, and is looking to make further history by winning a fourth straight Grand Slam for a second time in his career – a feat that has never been achieved in the Open Era. Zverev, who has had great results on the ATP tour, has not been able to duplicate that success at the majors, and will be contesting just his second Grand Slam quarter-final.

Some would think that Djokovic should be worried about not being battle-tested this tournament, but the 32-year-old is unconcerned by that.

“I don’t mind cruising along, to be honest,” Djokovic said with a smile after his fourth-round win on Monday. “I have plenty of experience, I think, dealing with situations where you’re facing break points or where it’s tense.”

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