From Zero Slam Wins To The Roland Garros QFs
The Gazprom Hungarian Open champion, competing in only his fifth Grand Slam, joins Fabio Fognini (2011 Roland Garros) as the only two Italian men to reach the last eight of a major since Davide Sanguinetti (1998 Wimbledon). Prior to Roland Garros, Cecchinato had never won a Grand Slam main draw match (0-4).
World No. 72 Cecchinato converted six of 18 break point chances en route to victory after two hours and 31 minutes, becoming the lowest-ranked man to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros since Ernests Gulbis (No. 80) in 2008.
After securing his first win over a Top 10 player in the ATP Rankings, Cecchinato will face Novak Djokovic, for the first time, in the quarter-finals.
The first set appeared to be heading towards a tie-break with both men holding serve comfortably, but Cecchinato pounced in the 12th game. The Italian capitalised on a series of errors from the World No. 9, including three missed backhands, to move one set ahead.
Goffin was put under considerable pressure at the beginning of the second set. Cecchinato dropped just one point in his first three service games, while creating five break point chances on Goffin's serve, but the Belgian held firm to keep pace with the Italian at 3-3.
Those missed chances proved costly for the 25-year-old. Goffin won the next three points to manufacture three break points, taking the second on a forehand error from Cecchinato to lead 4-3. The Belgian then levelled the match three games later with a powerful first serve up the 'T'.
But Cecchinato quickly halted Goffin's momentum in the third set, ripping a forehand passing shot up the line to earn one break and extracting a backhand error to claim a 4-0 lead. Two games later, the Italian gained a two-sets-to-one lead, clinching the 25-minute third set.
Goffin made the first move in the fourth set, breaking to love with a well-timed backhand return to lead 3-2. But the Belgian failed to consolidate, misfiring a forehand into the tramline for 3-3. From there, the World No. 72 took control, holding serve before firing a backhand up the line to move one game away from the win. The Italian then secured victory, with the same shot, four points later, to move into the quarter-finals.