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Novak Djokovic extends his perfect record against Jeremy Chardy on Thursday for a place in the Madrid quarter-finals.

Djokovic Turns Up The Heat, Plays Cilic In Madrid Quarter-finals

Serbian set to face Cilic for 20th time

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic played at a high level on Thursday afternoon to maintain his perfect record against Jeremy Chardy for a place in the Mutua Madrid Open quarter-finals.

The 2011 and 2016 champion was ruthless on the short points in a 6-1, 7-6(2) victory over 85 minutes and is now 13-0 — and 30-0 in sets — against his French opponent in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

“The first set was great,” said Djokovic. “I started off with a very solid game. I put a lot of returns back in play. Yes, he was making errors… And then, of course, in the second set, it changed because he started serving with more percentage and less errors from the back of the court. His forehand was lethal. He was really making a lot of winners and good stuff."

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Djokovic took a 4-0 lead before Chardy made inroads, but was ultimately unable to convert three break point chances in the fifth game. The second set, which lasted 48 minutes, was more competitive, yet remained serve dominated.

The Manolo Santana stadium crowd began to back the underdog, who secured a set point at 5-4, with Djokovic serving at 30/40. But Chardy rushed his groundstrokes, and later dropped to 0/3 in the tie-break. The small opening was enough for Djokovic, who completed the match with a forehand winner - his 19th overall.

“I was set point down,” said Djokovic. “I found my first serve and I thought that the past two matches, my serve has been working really well, so I think in these kind of conditions that is obviously an advantage.”

Djokovic is now 26-8 in the Spanish capital, where he bids to capture his 33rd ATP Masters 1000 title. The Serbian star leads Croatia’s Marin Cilic 17-2, including wins in their past three encounters.

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Ninth seed Cilic booked his place in the Madrid quarter-finals for the first time with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback victory over Laslo Djere of Serbia earlier in the day.

Djere looked on course for a breakthrough run, but blinked after striking 15 winners at a set and 3-1 up. Cilic stepped up and won 11 of the last 13 games to complete his seventh match win of 2019 (7-6 record) in two hours and nine minutes. Djere, 23, recorded the second Top 10 win of his career in the second round with victory over Juan Martin del Potro.

“I was a set and a break down, with Laslo having a few break points at the start of the second to go a double break down,” said Cilic. “I stuck to my game, and one opportunity arose and I started to play way, way better from the middle of the second set to the end of the match.”

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