PARIS (AP) Second-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat Marin Cilic for the ninth straight time Friday to reach the fourth round of the French Open, laboring to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4 win.
Djokovic has never lost to the Croat since they first played each other six years ago. But he dropped serve early to trail 3-1, made sloppy unforced errors in the tiebreaker, and was broken back in the fourth set after leading 4-2. He won when Cilic double faulted.
The six-time Grand Slam champion next plays either 13th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France or No. 22 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, who played later Thursday.
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Djokovic is looking to win the French Open for the first time and lost to eight-time champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals last year.