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Rediff.com  » Sports » French Open PIX: Nadal marches into quarters, Kerber downs Garcia

French Open PIX: Nadal marches into quarters, Kerber downs Garcia

Last updated on: June 05, 2018 00:02 IST

IMAGES from matches on Day 9 at the French Open at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand during the fourth round match against Maximilian Marterer of Germany. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal continued his birthday celebrations by moving into the French Open quarter-finals on Monday, beating a determined Maximilian Marterer 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(4).

Nadal, who turned 32 on Sunday, fired 39 winners as he completed the victory in two hours and 30 minutes to set up a match with Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who had earlier beaten Kevin Anderson.

 

After roaring to a two-set lead, Nadal faced a stern test in the third with Marterer leading 3-1 at one point after breaking the Spaniard. The German battled for every point in a bid to drag himself back into the contest.

Nadal, however, maintained composure in the decisive moments of the match to seal victory on his second match point as Marterer's backhand went long.

Kerber downs Garcia to end French singles hopes in Paris

Angelique Kerber

IMAGE: Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates winning her fourth round match against France's Caroline Garcia. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Angelique Kerber ended the French presence in the singles' draws at Roland Garros when she saw off seventh seed Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-3 in the fourth round.

The German former world number one, seeded 12th, played from the back of the court throughout the match, making it impossible for her 24-year-old opponent to develop her attacking game.

Double Grand Slam champion Kerber will next face world number one Simona Halep after the Romanian demolished Belgian Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-1.

Kerber only hit 11 winners but Garcia made 36 unforced errors, meaning the German was never under too much pressure.

Garcia had reached two semi-finals in top-tier events on clay this season, but in front of her home fans on Court Suzanne Lenglen she was unable to produce her best tennis.

The Frenchwoman briefly threatened a comeback when she pulled a break back for 5-3 after saving four match points, but then sent a routine forehand wide on the fifth match point in the following game.

"I'm happy to be through, she has played really well in the last few months," Kerber said of Garcia, who had reached the quarter-finals last year.

All of the French players in the men's singles draw were knocked out of the tournament before reaching the fourth round.

Kasatkina polishes off Wozniacki to reach last eight

Daria Kasatkina

IMAGE: Daria Kasatkina of Russia plays a forehand during the fourth round match against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Saved by fading light the night before, there was no escape for world number two Caroline Wozniacki as she lost 7-6(5), 6-3 in the French Open fourth round to Russian Daria Kasatkina.

Kasatkina, the 14th seed, led 7-6, 3-3 on Sunday when play was called off but any hopes Australian Open champion Wozniacki harboured that her 21-year-old opponent's level would dip on the resumption proved fanciful.

It was all over in a matter of minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier as Kasatkina rattled off the three games she needed to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final.

Having disposed of one reigning Grand Slam champion, Kasatkina will next face another in US Open winner Sloane Stephens.

Simona Halep too good for Mertens as she reaches last eight

Simona Halep

IMAGE: Romania's Simona Halep celebrates winning her fourth round match against Belgium's Elise Mertens. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

World number one Simona Halep blazed into the French Open quarter-finals by crushing Belgian Elise Mertens 6-2 6-1 as she showed her full range of weapons.

Romanian Halep, twice a runner-up at Roland Garros, started slowly but once she found her groove, there was nothing the 16th seed could do to avoid a one-sided defeat.

Halep won the last nine games on Court Philippe Chatrier to set up a meeting with either German Angelique Kerber or local favourite Caroline Garcia.

Mertens entered the tournament having won two second-tier events on clay including 16 wins and one defeat, albeit against Halep last month in Madrid when she was comprehensively beaten.

The story was the same on Monday as Halep, a French Open finalist in 2014 and 2017, broke for 2-1 in the opening set and never looked back as she outmanoeuvred Mertens, who was sent chasing the ball all over the court.

Elise Mertens

IMAGE: Elise Mertens of Belgium plays a forehand. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Belgian pulled a break back in the second set but then trailed 5-0 as the top seed punched a ticket for the last eight when Mertens served a double fault on the first match point.

"It was not that easy, she is a tough opponent," said Halep, who is chasing her maiden Grand Slam title.

"I was a bit nervous at the start of the match but I played my best match here at Roland Garros.

"I need to be more aggressive and try to finish the points because I don't hit so many winners."

Battling Argentine Schwartzman recovers to knock out Anderson

Diego Schwartzman

IMAGE: Diego Schwartzman reacts during his match against Kevin Anderson. Photograph: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Argentine Diego Schwartzman produced a remarkable fightback from two sets and a break down to beat South African Kevin Anderson 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(0), 6-2 and reach the French Open quarter-finals for the first time.

Having gone two sets up with big hitting from the baseline, towering sixth seed Anderson threw Schwartzman a lifeline while serving for the match at 5-4 and his booming serve faltered again at 5-6 as the Argeentine took the third set.

The 25-year-old Schwartzman, who won the Rio Open claycourt title earlier this year, switched gears in the tiebreak at the end of a tight fourth set to level the contest at two sets apiece as a tiring Anderson failed to earn a point.

With momentum having swung his way, Schwartzman secured the decisive breaks in the final set and sealed a memorable victory over the U.S. Open finalist with an ace after a contest lasting three hours and 51 minutes.

"He was very aggressive. One way or the other he started lining up points and it was different from what I had imagined, because he's more of an aggressive player," Schwartzman said.

"In the third set I tried on a crossover backhand to play better. And from then on he started getting a bit tired and he wasn't as accurate, unlike in the first two sets."

"I tried to take advantage of an opportunity. I was lucky, because I took advantage of two of his mistakes when he was serving for the match."

Schwartzman, who became only the eighth Argentine to reach multiple Grand Slam quarter-finals in the Open Era, next faces top seed Rafael Nadal. He trails Nadal 5-0 in their previous meetings.

"Always I believe I can do (it). If not, I'm not playing tennis," Schwartzman added. "But Rafa here, I know it's his second home, and it's going to be a really tough match."

"I need to recover well, because against him I need to run a lot and do my best. I need to be ready for the next match and do my best," he added.

Muguruza through as Tsurenko retires hurt

Garbine Muguruza

IMAGE: Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Spain's Garbine Muguruza reached the French Open quarter-finals without breaking sweat when her Ukrainian opponent Lesia Tsurenko retired after two games.

The third seed, bidding for a second title in Paris after her 2016 triumph, was 2-0 ahead when Tsurenko pulled out with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

Tsurenko, ranked 39th, stretched to reach a Muguruza serve in the second game and immediately clutched the back of her thigh before calling for treatment.

A physio was summoned and Tsurenko was given extensive treatment.

She played on for five more points but walked to the net and shook hands after Muguruza held serve.

Muguruza is yet to drop a set in the tournament and will face twice champion Maria Sharapova for a place in the semis after the Russian's opponent, Serena Williams, pulled out before the start of their eagerly-awaited duel due to injury.

Del Potro defeats Isner to reach last eight in Paris

Juan Martin del Potro

IMAGE: Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro celebrates after winning his fourth round match against John Isner of the US. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Juan Martin Del Potro stormed into the French Open quarter-finals with a convincing 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 defeat of the big-serving American John Isner.

Del Potro, regarded as one of the biggest threats to 10-time champion Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros, broke three times and held serve throughout to set up a meeting with either Croatian third seed Marin Cilic or Italian Fabio Fognini.

"I returned very well, it was the key to the match and I broke three times, I also played well on the important points," said Del Potro, who throughout the match heard parts of the crowd chant 'USA, USA!"

"I love playing here in the USA, USA!," he joked.

"We both played good tennis today. It is so special to get to the quarter-finals here, I'm having great days in Paris and I'd like to stay a few more days."

Cilic stands firm to withstand Fognini fightback

Marin Cilic

IMAGE: Croatia's Marin Cilic with Italy's Fabio Fognini after winning. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Croatian Marin Cilic withstood an inspired comeback by Italian Fabio Fognini to reach the French Open quarter-finals for the second year running with a 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-3 victory.

With his power game in fine fettle and Fognini struggling due to an ankle injury it was one-way traffic in the opening two sets as third seed Cilic romped ahead.

Even when Fognini grabbed back a set it still seemed as if Cilic was in control but the Italian raised his game in the fourth set tiebreak to force a decider.

The first six games went with serve but Fognini played a sloppy seventh game and Cilic needed no second invitation to seal victory.

He will face a heavyweight battle against in-form Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in the last eight.

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