Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to 43-straight matches when he eliminated one of three remaining Frenchmen Richard Gasquet in straight sets on day eight of the 2011 French Open. Gasquet made it to the round of sixteen and the hometown crowd had high hopes that he might be able to upset 2011's juggernaut of men's tennis, but it wasn't to happen. Djokovic took the match 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, and looked dominant throughout. Again, it was another instance of Djokovic's opponent playing well, but the Serbian was just too ... too perfect in his game. There's no holes right now, you have to be better than him, and though Gasquet is a lot of things, he is not that.
Roger Federer also cruised to victory in his match over the 14th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka. Federer took a two sets to love lead in dominant fashion, but was forced to a third set tiebreak with his fellow Swiss compatriot. No problem for the world number three, who ended up with the final score of 6-3, 6-2, 7-5. Federer has looked dominant through this iteration of Roland Garros, but he'll probably have his hands full in the next round.
The ninth-seeded Gael Monfils and seventh-seeded David Ferrer had themselves a very exciting matchup, as everybody expected. However, there's one caveat to that, and also in determining who Federer will take on ... the match has been suspended due to things on that court running long. Monfils took the first set, but Ferrer responded with a win in the second set.
Monfils was broken in the third set and it looked as though Ferrer was going to take over the match, but the crowd responded with a roar when he broke the Spaniard and then they about exploded when he broke him again to take a 6-5 lead, serving for the set. It was a successful service game, and Monfils took a 2-1 lead in the match. The beginning of the fourth was almost tragic for Monfils, as Ferrer held serve and then Monfils worked to an early 40-15. Ferrer responded with two fantastic forehands to bring it to deuce, and Monfils tripped and fell backwards, hurting his ankle. He ended up recovering, and play resumed, but he would be broken by Ferrer. Play was stopped with Ferrer holding a 2-0 lead in the fourth set.
Djokovic will be taking on the un-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini, who is playing phenomenal tennis this time out. He's looked impressive in each and every match, and his day eight match against Albert Montanes reiterated that in a big way. The Italian and Spaniard traded sets until the fifth, where Fognini fell behind 4-1. At some point, Fognini began to experience a little pain, but he continued to battle.
Down 7-6 and serving at 30-15, Fognini came up hurt. Definitely hurt. He was in a lot of pain and could barely walk, could barely run, but he kept playing. Long story short, Fognini took the fifth set tiebreak 11-9, how does that sit with you? It was nothing short of remarkable, and Fognini becomes the first Italian to advance this far in a Grand Slam since 1998. Montanes started playing much safer tennis, and Fognini said in the post-match interview that he could tell that Montanes was panicking and perhaps over-thinking, perhaps hoping that the Italian would just quit.
Well it didn't happen, so Djokovic will be taking on Fognini. The Italian will have a day off for rest, though everything is still up in the air in regards to his injury.