French Open: Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic reach quarter-finals

Serena Williams
Williams has now won her last 18 sets at Roland Garros
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 22 May to 5 June
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on selected matches on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, the BBC Sport website and app.

Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic finally made it through to the quarter-finals as the rain abated at the French Open.

Williams wasted little time in beating Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-1 in their rain-delayed fourth-round match

Djokovic completed a 3-6 6-4 6-1 7-5 win over Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, having resumed in the third set.

Andy Murray was then scheduled to take on France's Richard Gasquet in the first of the men's quarter-finals.

Belgian 12th seed David Goffin completed the fourth round by beating Ernests Gulbis 4-6 6-2 6-2 6-3, and he will face Austria's 13th seed Dominic Thiem, who beat Marcel Granollers 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 6-4.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza became the first player to reach the semi-finals with a 7-5 6-3 win over unseeded American Shelby Rogers.

Muguruza will play 2010 finalist Sam Stosur of Australia, who beat Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 7-6 (8-6).

Djokovic becomes the $100m man

Novak Djokovic wears a rain hat as he answers to former French tennis player Fabrice Santoro
Djokovic made light of the damp conditions in Paris after his win

Victory over Bautista Agut took Djokovic into the quarter-finals, and brought him the distinction of becoming the first man to break the $100m mark in prize money.

The Serb, 29, admitted that coach Boris Becker and the rest of his team had helped turn around his fortunes after a lacklustre start in poor weather on Tuesday.

"With my coaching team, we had some tough talks on Tuesday night," said Djokovic.

"But I came back today with more intensity even though it was a tough mental and physical battle."

Djokovic goes on to face Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych, who beat David Ferrer 6-3 7-5 6-3.

Serena through, Venus out

World number one Serena Williams looked impressive as she saw off 18th seed Svitolina in just 62 minutes, making it 18 sets in a row for the American at Roland Garros.

She will next play unseeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, who beat Spanish 12th seed Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5 7-5 - the first of a potential four matches in four days.

Venus Williams and Timea Bacsinszky
Timea Bacsinszky (right) had given up tennis and was working in a hotel before giving the sport a second chance in 2013.

"Four in a row? When we play regular tournaments you play four, five matches in a row. It's what happens," said Williams.

"It's something you just get used to. It's totally fine I think for me and for everyone."

Venus Williams did not fare as well as her sister, losing 6-2 6-4 to Swiss eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky.

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands made it four unseeded players in the women's quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 win over American 15th seed Madison Keys.

Forget defends weather calls

Guy Forget
Former top-five player Forget is in his first year as tournament director of the French Open

After Monday's play was completely washed out, tournament director Guy Forget defended the fact that 121 minutes of play - two more than necessary to refund ticket-holders - took place on Court Philippe Chatrier on Tuesday.

Bautista Agut had claimed after his loss to Djokovic that tournament officials had "pushed us to play two hours", while defeated seeds Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep also criticised the decision to play on in wet conditions.

Former finalist John McEnroe told BBC Sport that continuing with matches had created a "lousy situation" and it was fortunate that no players were injured.

Spaniard David Ferrer was even more strident. "The players are those who mean the least to the organisers. They want to make money, it may look good to some, but I think this is a scam," he said after his own defeat to Berdych.

But Forget insisted all decisions on whether play should take place are taken for sporting, rather than financial, reasons.

"The decision to suspend or resume play lies solely with tournament referee Stefan Fransson. Respect for the game always takes precedence," said Forget.

"If what we are being accused of were true, it would have been in our best interests as organisers to stop play before the one-hour 59-minute mark as our insurer would have been responsible for ticket reimbursement.

"That was not the basis of our decision. Our aim was to play for as long as possible, even if that meant being criticised for playing in difficult conditions."

BBC Weather forecast for Paris on Thursday
Thursday is set to be cloudy but dry in Paris

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