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Novak Djokovic again hits line judge with ball amid progression at French Open

World No.1 Novak Djokovic experienced a moment of “deja vu” at the French Open when a mistimed return flew off his racket and hit the face of a line judge.

It came as Djokovic earned a record-breaking 11th consecutive quarter-final appearance at the tournament with a 6-4 6-3 6-3 victory against Russian Karen Khachanov.

WATCH THE HIT IN THE PLAYER ABOVE

Djokovic, who is aiming for a second Roland Garros title since 2016, secured the win in 2 hours 26 minutes under the roof of Court Philippe Chatrier as heavy rain poured down in Paris.

The 17-time grand slam champion will next face 29-year-old Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta after the No.17 seed set up a rematch against Djokovic by reaching his second quarter-final in the French capital.

Carreno Busta was visited by a doctor after the second set but continued to play well and beat 186th-ranked qualifier Daniel Altmaier 6-2 7-5 6-2.

Just last month at the US Open, Carreno Busta was gifted progress to the quarters after Djokovic was defaulted for inadvertently hitting a line judge with a ball.

The Serb said he felt “deja vu” in the first set against Khachanov when his mistimed shot hit the line judge’s face.

“Obviously because of what happened in New York, people I guess are going to make the story out of this,” Djokovic said.

“I saw he had a little bit of a bruise, like redness, in that place in the head where the ball hit him.

“It was a very awkward situation.”

Djokovic apologises.
Camera IconDjokovic apologises.

Earlier in the day, Stefanos Tsitipas, seeded fifth, advanced as he battled past Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 7-6 (11-9) 6-2 in just under two and a half hours.

Tsitsipas bagged a third consecutive victory in straight sets after surviving a five-set scare in the first round.

“It was a very good lesson for me, the first-round match,” Tsitsipas said.

“I think I was just more awakened on the court, more responsible for what I was doing. That is also the reason why I’ve been doing so well in the last nine sets that I’ve played.”

The Greek moves into a quarter-final against 13th seeded Andrey Rublev – a 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-4 7-6 (7-3) winner over Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics – in a rematch of last week’s Hamburg final won by the Russian.

“Both of us had tough, tough week in Hamburg, tough final,” said Rublev.

“I hope it’s going to be interesting.”

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