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French Open PIX: Gauff, Jabeur race into quarters

Last updated on: June 06, 2023 09:02 IST

Images from Day 9 of the 2023 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris on Monday.

Gauff charges past Schmiedlova into quarter-finals

Coco Gauff

IMAGE: Coco Gauff in action during her fourth round match against Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Last year's French Open runner-up Coco Gauff overcame an early wobble to outclass Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-5, 6-2 and reach the quarter-finals, where she could face a potential rematch with holder Iga Swiatek.

Gauff won her previous clash with Schmiedlova in Madrid last year, dropping only two games, and the American made a quick start again with a break in the opening game to pull away and leave her 100th-ranked opponent facing an uphill task.

 

But 28-year-old Schmiedlova, playing in the second week of a major for the first time, mounted a late fightback from 5-2 down to draw level only to squander her opportunity and allow sixth seed Gauff to edge a tense first set.

The 19-year-old Gauff tightened her grip in the next set, working the angles and deploying the drop shot to devastating effect as she closed out the victory without any more drama.

Gauff will face holder Iga Swiatek in a rematch of the 2022 final.

Poland's Iga Swiatek got a walkover into the quarter-finals 

IMAGE: Iga Swiatek got a walkover into the quarters. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Poland's top seed Swiatek set up the blockbuster meeting when her ailing fourth-round opponent Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine retired while down 5-1 in the first set after she called on the trainer and had her blood pressure checked.

Following a five-minute medical timeout, the match resumed but Tsurenko threw in the towel after losing the following game to love.

Wearing a ribbon in the Ukrainian colours pinned to her cap while Tsurenko had one on her top, Swiatek raced to a 4-0 lead as the world number 66 started to show signs of weakness.

She still managed to pull a break back but requested the trainer to come on court as she sat down on her bench at the change of ends.

She was seen explaining her problems to the medical staff and after being given the green light to continue, it soon became evident that she was struggling to play her shots and ended the match prematurely.

Swiatek has dropped only nine games en route to the quarter-finals as she chases a third Roland Garros title in four years.

Swiatek is now well established as a top player and reaching the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam gives her little to celebrate, although that does also depend on the major.

"If I could be in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon I would be over the moon," she said with a laugh.

Zverev meets Argentine Etcheverry in quarters

Alexander Zverev hardly broke sweat in the night session to seal a 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 win over Bulgarian 28th seed Grigor Dimitrov and set up a showdown with Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

Etcheverry reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final with a 7-6(8), 6-0, 6-1 victory over Yoshihito Nishioka, the 27th seed.

The Argentine, ranked 49 in the world, had won only one match at a Grand Slam prior to the French Open, in the Australian Open last January. However, he reached his first two ATP Tour finals this season, at the Chile Open and the US Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston.

After the withdrawal of Briton Jack Draper in the first round, Etcheverry knocked out Australian Alex de Minaur and Croatian Borna Coric in the second and third rounds in Paris. He will now take on Germany's Alexander Zverev in the last eight.

"It's going to be tough," Etcheverry said at a press conference. "I think Zverev is much more experienced than me, but I feel very good playing against him. I'm playing unbelievable tennis this week, and I just have to focus on my game".

Jabeur swats aside Pera to move into quarters

Ons Jabeur

IMAGE: Tunisia's Ons Jabeur in action during her fourth round match against Bernarda Pera of the US. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Ons Jabeur was a woman in a hurry at the French Open, as the seventh seed eased into the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the first time with a 6-3, 6-1 win over American Bernarda Pera in bright sunshine.

Jabeur's season has steadily gathered steam in Paris after the Tunisian world number seven had minor knee surgery earlier in the year and skipped the Madrid Open due to a calf problem following her run to the Charleston crown.

Ons Jabeur

IMAGE: Tunisia's Ons Jabeur eased into the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the first time. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

The 28-year-old breezed to a 4-1 lead in the opening set even as many Court Philippe Chatrier ticket-holders were making their way past the turnstiles and closed it out in 35 minutes with her fifth break of serve.

Pera beat Jabeur in their last meeting on the hardcourts of Guangzhou in 2019 but the left-hander struggled to cope with her tricky opponent's clay prowess and did not help her own cause with errors in her maiden last 16 appearance in a Grand Slam.

Jabeur tightened her grip on the contest by blending power, precision and guile in the next set to close out the victory in just over an hour.

The Tunisian, who is eyeing a first Grand Slam title after falling short in the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year, will take on Sara Sorribes Tormo or 14th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia who face off later in the day.

Ruud rumbles into French Open last eight, faces Rune next

Casper Ruud

IMAGE: Norway's Casper Ruud in action during his fourth round match against Chile's Nicolas Jarry. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Last year's runner-up Casper Ruud battled into the French Open quarter-finals with a tough 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-5 win over Chile's Nicolas Jarry.

The fourth seed from Norway struggled against claycourt specialist Jarry, who led in the last two sets but could not take his chance

Ruud next faces either Dane Holger Rune in a re-match of last year's quarter-final, or Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo.

"If we had gone five sets I don't know how long we would have played," said Ruud on court Philippe Chatrier.

"I have to thank my team for pushing me in practice. I did the work and physically I was ready for more."

Ruud wasted a break advantage and was pushed into a tiebreak, which he won comfortably.

Possibly lulled into a false sense of security, Ruud fell 4-1 behind in the second set but he rallied to win six of the next seven games to edge closer to victory.

The lanky Chilean, taking part in his first last-16 singles match at a Grand Slam, again made the first break in the third set.

With his big shots, Jarry was always in the contest and if the match had been played on a smaller court, the outcome might have been different.

"It is probably the biggest clay court in the world, so it made the returns easier and safer," Ruud said.

The 24-year-old has reached the final of two of the last four Grand Slams he has played, the two times he has got as far as the last eight.

Aided by double bounce, Rune battles past Cerundolo into quarter-finals

Denmark's Holger Rune

IMAGE: Denmark's Holger Rune in action during his fourth round match against Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Danish sixth seed Holger Rune got a helping hand from the umpire with a missed but glaring double bounce to battle past Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(7) and reach the French Open last eight for the second year in a row.

He will next face Norway's fourth seed Casper Ruud in a repeat of last year's quarter-final.

Rune got off to a strong start, powering to a quick 4-1 lead with Cerundolo struggling with his opponent's serve that was on average more than 20kph faster than his own at that stage.

The 20-year-old comfortably held serve to go 5-2 up but started getting sloppy before snatching the first set in a tiebreak.

But the mercurial Dane had by then lost the edge on his serve with Cerundolo breaking him to love to go 4-1 up in the second set with a superb heavy topspin lob.

He bagged it but soon the momentum would shift again.

Rune was 2-1 up in the third at 40-all when he clearly failed to get to the ball in time and the second bounce was visible to all but chair umpire Kader Nouni.

With his opponent not admitting to the double bounce, Cerundolo, seething and threatening the umpire "with a fine", was broken on the next point, as Rune eventually went 4-1 up.

Cerundolo was still fuming, mumbling to himself, when he launched a comeback to level but conceded the third set when Rune whipped a forehand down the line.

The 24-year-old, however, refused to buckle, snatching a 4-0 lead in the fourth, with Rune's unforced errors at that stage climbing to 52 and the Dane essentially giving up on the set.

The battle started anew in the fifth with both holding serve until 4-4 and then each being broken once to go to a deciding tiebreak where Rune prevailed.

The Dane has now claimed his second consecutive win over an Argentine opponent in Paris after eliminating Genaro Olivieri in the previous round.

Source: REUTERS
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