Someone who just became the first tennis player to pass the $100 million mark in prize money should be happy. No doubt, he is Novak Djokovic!
But Djokovic’s goal heading into the French Open was to win the only grand slam to elude him and he knows his task remains difficult, thanks in large part to Mother Nature.
The world No. 1 defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6 6-4 6-1 7-5 on Wednesday to move into the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and he might as well have brought a sleeping bag, since — if organizers don’t tweak the pre-planned tournament schedule — he’ll be back Thursday and Friday.
That is, of course, if he keeps winning and the rain stays away.
As it turned out, he spent about 70 minutes on court to finish off the 16th-ranked Bautista Agut. He was interviewed on court in a yellow rain coat by Fabrice Santoro, subsequently borrowing the former French player’s yellow hat.
Djokovic reached a 28th consecutive quarterfinal at majors — a run longer than Jimmy Connors managed but eight behind Roger Federer’s 36. Djokovic, though, trumped the Swiss in getting to $100m.
His total is, to be precise, $100,001,974, a testament to his sustained excellence yet also the spiraling financial rewards offered to players. Ten years ago, singles champions at the French Open pocketed $1.13 million. This year, the amount soared to $2.2m.

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