Novak Djokovic a set down as rain sets in again at French Open

Novak Djokovic a set down as rain sets in again at French Open

Novak Djokovic endured a potentially-costly 37 minutes of action at the French Open before rain once again forced the players off court.

The world number one did not drop a set in his first three matches but lost the opener 6-3 to Roberto Bautista Agut in his delayed fourth-round match.

Roland Garros witnessed its first washout for 16 years on Monday and the rain was still falling heavily on Tuesday morning.

At midday, an hour after the scheduled start of play, it was deemed dry enough to begin, although conditions were far from ideal.

Another day lost to rain would leave tournament organisers struggling to fit in the remaining matches so it was understandable they were keen to begin.

But Djokovic looked far from happy playing in the heavy conditions in front of a sparse and soggy crowd.

He broke the serve of 14th seed Bautista Agut in the opening game but then lost four of the next five to trail 4-2.

Djokovic got himself back on serve before umpire Cedric Mourier had a discussion with the supervisor about the conditions as the intensity of the rain increased.

Still conditions were deemed playable, much to Djokovic's annoyance, and the Serbian clearly felt he could not move properly as he stumbled around behind the baseline.

Bautista Agut, a grinder who was happy to make the most of his opponent's discomfort, broke serve for a third time and then served out only the second set he has ever won against Djokovic.

At that point, and with play on Court Suzanne Lenglen having been suspended for a good few minutes, the players walked off and the covers came on.

Djokovic is bidding to reach his 28th consecutive grand slam quarter-final - eight short of Roger Federer's record - dating back to the French Open in 2009.

It is only the third time Djokovic has lost the opening set at a slam since the start of 2014.

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