World number two Novak Djokovic, who is chasing his first title at the Roland Garros, is set to lock horns with the 13th seed Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last 16 of the 2014 French Open.
Djokovic was made to work hard by Croat Marin Cilic in the third round. After losing two sets, Cilic won the next in the tie-breaker but could not finish the job as Djokovic outplayed him in the fourth to book his place in the pre-quarterfinals.
The six-time Grand Slam champion called it a hard-fought victory but looked pleased with his performance against the dangerous Cilic. The 27-year-old, bidding to complete his Career Slam, will now face hometown hero Tsonga.
Last year's semifinalist Tsonga faced very less competition from Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in front of the home crowd, and defeated him in straight sets in just over two hours. But Tsonga admitted that it is not going to be an easy outing against the world number two.
"With Novak, you have to fear him in many regards, but I will have to pay attention to myself," Tsonga said. "I will have to be focused from the first point to the last point. I shouldn't give him some free points. Of course, I have to produce a great match in order to defeat him."
Tsonga and Djokovic have some history between them at Grand Slams as the Frenchman has not beaten Djokovic in majors since the 2010 Australian Open. The Serb had also defeated Tsonga in the 2008 Australian Open final, when he rallied back from a one-set deficit.
Tsonga will be looking to avenge his 2012 quarterfinal defeat at the Roland Garros, where he lost in a marathon five-set encounter. In that four-hour long match, Tsonga had four match points but was not able to capitalise, and crashed out of the tournament.
Djokovic also leads the head-to-head encounter with 11 wins and five loses against Tsonga, and the Serb has won the last nine encounters they played. Tsonga said Djokovic has beaten him several times in his career in majors, and it would be nice to break the momentum.
"I've beaten him several times, but not in the big moments," Tsonga said. "If there is one player who has ruined my career it's him! If I could tip the scales back in my favour it'd be cool."
Where to Watch Live
The match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic is scheduled for 8:00 pm IST, 2:30 pm GMT and 10:30 am ET start, with live coverage on NBC Sports and ESPN 2 in the US and NEO Prime and NEO Sports in India. International viewers, including India, can catch the action via live streaming HERE or HERE. Listen to the action HERE. Viewers in the US can live stream the matches HERE or HERE, while the tie can be live streamed by the UK viewers HERE.