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French Open PIX: Swiatek, Medvedev, Tsitsipas in last 16

Last updated on: May 29, 2022 06:10 IST
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Swiatek runs into trouble but reaches French Open last 16.

Images from Saturday's action at Roland Garros in Paris.

Iga Swiatek

IMAGE: Poland’s Iga Swiatek plays a forehand against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro during their third round match at the French Open on Saturday. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Top ranked Iga Swiatek ran into a spot of bother as she beat Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-3, 7-5 to reach the fourth round of the French Open and extend her winning streak to 31 matches on Saturday.

The Polish player, who is unbeaten since last February, has also won 46 of her last 47 sets after claiming titles on claycourt in Stuttgart and Rome.

 

The 2020 champion is bidding to become the fourth player since 2000 to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup multiple times after Justine Henin, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova.

The 20-year-old is on the longest unbeaten run in the women's tour since Serena Williams bagged 34 victories in succession in 2013.

"I wanted to play aggressively but maybe putting too much power and her balls were so powerful so it was tough to handle at full speed. I had to take fewer risks but she did a great job defending," said Swiatek, who will next face either France’s Alize Cornet or Chinese Zheng Qinwen.

"She was serving with precision so it was tricky to see where she was going to serve but I have played heavy hitters before, although it was a bit hard to adjust at the beginning."

Swiatek broke for 2-0 on her sixth opportunity but appeared to be struggling to handle her opponent's heavy forehand.

Kovinic, the world number 95, even managed to break back in the seventh game but immediately dropped serve again with four unforced errors in a row. Swiatek followed up on serve to bag the opening set.

Kovinic's efforts took their toll as she had less stamina and she made more and more unforced errors, losing four consecutive games to allow the world number one to move 4-1 up. But she found some unsuspected resources to break back twice and even go 5-4 up after winning 11 points in a row.

Facing the prospect of dropping her first set in the tournament, Swiatek found better angles to level for 5-5 and break decisively when Kovinic completely misfired a forehand.

Whipping the ball with poise, Swiatek wrapped it up on her second match point with an unreturnable serve.

Injured Badosa retires, Giorgi packs off Sabalenka

Paula Badosa

IMAGE: Spain's Paula Badosa leaves the court after retiring injured from her third round match against Russia's Veronika Kudermetov. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Third seed Paula Badosa was forced to retire with a right calf injury from her third round match against Veronika Kudermetova at the French Open while the Spaniard was trailing 6-3, 2-1.

The 24-year-old Badosa, who made the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last year, was considered one of those in the women's draw who could challenge world number Iga Swiatek at the claycourt Grand Slam.

Playing on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Badosa required medical attention for a right leg problem during the match and then decided early in the second set that she could no longer continue.

The 29th-seeded Kudermetova will face either American Madison Keys or Kazakh Elena Rybakina for a place in the quarter-finals.

Aryna Sabalenka

IMAGE: Italy's Camila Giorgi in action during her third round match against Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka. Photograph Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

The women's draw was further hampered by the exit of seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka, who went down to big-hitting Italian Camila Giorgi 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 on Court Simonne Mathieu.

Sabalenka, a former world number two, won the hard-fought opening set but then was reduced to a mere spectator as Giorgi scorched the court with winners.

The Belarusian managed to win only one more game as Giorgi completed a remarkable comeback win in an hour and 42 minutes to make the fourth round for the first time at Roland Garros.

For a place in the quarter-finals, the 30-year-old Giorgi, ranked 30th, will next meet 20th seed Daria Kasatkina.

Ruud, Rune lead Viking charge into last 16

Norway's Casper Ruud in action during his third round match against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego.

IMAGE: Norway's Casper Ruud in action during his third round match against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Norway's Casper Ruud and Denmark's Holger Rune led a Viking charge into the last 16 with impressive wins.

Eighth seed Ruud battled back to beat Italy's Lorenzo Sonego to take his place in the fourth round in Paris for the first time. A little later, Danish 19-year-old Rune continued his sensational progress as he trounced France's Hugo Gaston.

Things looked bad for Ruud when a fired-up Sonego won the third set 6-1 to move within a set of progressing, but the 23-year-old took control to win 6-2, 6-7(3), 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Sonego threw the kitchen sink at Ruud as he hit back from losing the first set and ended up with 62 winners to Ruud's 39 in the 3-1/2 hour duel.

But Ruud, who owns two claycourt titles this year, calmly weathered the storm and was the stronger player as he finished off the match in style.

He will face 12th seed Hubert Hurkacz in the last 16.

Rune, who beat 14th seed Denis Shapovalov in straight sets in the opening round and followed up with another comfortable win in round two, was too good for home hope Gaston.

The French Open debutant dominated from the word go as he chalked up a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

He will face Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas next.

Second seed Medvedev trounces Kecmanovic

Daniil Medvedev

IMAGE: Russia's Daniil Medvedev shakes hands with Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic after winning his third round match. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Second seed Daniil Medvedev cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia with a comfortable 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 victory in less than two hours to advance to the French Open fourth round.

The US Open champion, who reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last year after four consecutive first-round exits, played near flawless service games throughout to give his opponent, ranked 31st in the world, no real chance.

"It was magnificent today. I did not have my serve broken," Medvedev, runner-up at the Australian Open this season, said in an on-court interview. "On this surface it is quite unusual. Hopefully there are more such matches for me next week.

"Like in my French, I try to do better in my tennis all the time. The better I learn French the better my tennis will become."

Medvedev found little resistance on his least favourite surface from the Serb 28th seed and broke him twice in the opening set before another early break made sure of a 2-0 set lead for the Russian.

He had arrived at the French Open with only one match on clay under his belt after undergoing a procedure to treat a hernia in April but it did not show against Kecmanovic, who tried to battle back only to be broken again at 2-2 following a lengthy rally and a slice backhand that went long.

Medvedev finished the game on his first match point, firing a forehand cross-court past Kecmanovic. He next plays the winner of the match between Frenchman Gilles Simon and Croatia's Marin Cilic.

Tsitsipas hammers Ymer to cruise into fourth round

Stefnos Tsitsipas

IMAGE: Stefanos Tsitsipas returns a shot to Mikael Ymer. Photograph: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas thrashed Sweden's Mikael Ymer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in a lopsided contest to canter into the French Open fourth round.

Tsitsipas, who made the final at the claycourt Grand Slam last year, came into the Roland Garros clash with a 3-0 head-to-head lead over fellow 23-year-old Ymer.

There were no signs that things would be any different this time with Tsitsipas dominating proceedings from the onset on a sun-bathed Court Suzanne Lenglen.

He put on a clinical service display on the red clay, facing just a single break point on his delivery and losing only 10 points on his serve.

"Lot of good rallies from my side. We have a history, playing Mike from the juniors. We played each other a lot," Tsitsipas said on court, adding that he enjoyed the sunny and drier conditions on Saturday.

"It was a good game for myself. I think I played really well and topped it off with some pretty good, patient tennis."

Tsitsipas used his forehand to great effect to pin Ymer behind the baseline and broke his opponent's serve twice in each of the first two sets and another three times in the third.

The Greek had spent a total of seven hours and 40 minutes on court in his previous two rounds, coming through a five-set win over Italian Lorenzo Musetti and a tough four-setter against Czech Zdenek Kolar.

He was pleased to have been able to save some energy with Saturday's shorter outing.

"I had to do my job; I had to play my tennis. I wasn't really thinking of the ease that I could maybe create in terms of a result," he said.

"It's a good thing to have a match like this every now and then."

Ymer, ranked 95th in the world, did not help his cause by committing 26 unforced errors during the one hour 32 minute contest.

Tsitsipas will meet Denmark's Holger Rune or local hope Hugo Gaston for a place in the quarter-finals.

Sinner punishes wasteful McDonald

Jannik Sinner

IMAGE: Italy's Jannik Sinner in action during his third round match against Mackenzie McDonald of the United States. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Italian 11th seed Jannik Sinner saved 11 set points in the second set before beating wasteful American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to reach the fourth round at the French Open.

Sinner had his back to the wall at 5-2 down in the second set but kept his composure as the world number 60 squandered chance after chance to clinch it.

"Both of us were not felling well on court but very happy to be through," Sinner said.

"I don't feel 100 percent that's for sure," added Sinner, who played with his left knee strapped. "I don't want to talk about it. But I served well, and I broke him early in the third set."

Sinner broke the American once midway through the first set to go into the lead. The world number 12 then carved out three break opportunities in a marathon fifth game of the second set that lasted almost 15 minutes but McDonald fought back to win it.

It was the American who then earned two straight breaks to go 5-2 up but then spectacularly imploded when he squandered 11 set points to allow Sinner, who himself littered the court with 40 unforced errors in the opening two sets alone, to clinch the tiebreak in a set that lasted an hour and a half.

There was no coming back for the American as Sinner then raced to a 3-0 lead and clinched the match when his opponent sailed a forehand long, to set up a fourth round encounter with the winner of the match between Russian Andrey Rublev and Chile's Cristian Garin.

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