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French Open PIX: Federer, Nadal waltz into last 8

Last updated on: June 03, 2019 09:41 IST

Images from Day 8 at the French Open.

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after winning his fourth round match against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer at the French Open on Sunday. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Roger Federer’s dream return to the French Open continued as the Swiss waltzed into quarter-finals by giving Argentine Leonardo Mayer a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 masterclass on Sunday.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, back at Roland Garros after a three-year hiatus, cruised through the opening rounds seemingly unchallenged and his last-16 encounter was no exception.

 

Things are likely to get trickier for Federer from now on as the third seed will next face a resurgent Stan Wawrinka, the champion in 2015, who got the better of Greek sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat him at the Australian Open, 7-6(8-6), 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 8-6.

On Sunday, however, it appeared as if Federer was enjoying a leisurely stroll in the Parisian sun.

After just over an hour, Federer was already two sets up.

The 37-year-old played effortlessly, smacking winners around the court with self-confidence.

Mayer offered some semblance of resistance in the third set until the sixth game, when Federer broke decisively, ending his opponent’s ordeal on the first match point. 

Wawrinka beats Tsitsipas in marathon 'battle of the backhands'

Stan Wawrinka

IMAGE: Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka reacts after winning his fourth round match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Former champion Stan Wawrinka thumped 62 winners as he outlasted Stefanos Tsitsipas in a bruising five-hour “battle of the backhands”.

Wawrinka beat the sixth-seeded Greek 7-6(6), 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 8-6 to set up a meeting with fellow-Swiss Roger Federer, who cruised past Leonardo Mayer of Argentina in straight sets earlier in the day.

Wawrinka, who beat Federer in straight sets en route to the 2015 French Open title, clinched victory on his second match point, with a backhand that landed on the line on a sun-soaked Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Both armed with a blistering single-handed backhand, the match between the 34-year-old Wawrinka, three-times Grand Slam winner, and the 20-year-old Tsitsipas, who had been trying to become the first Greek player to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals, more than lived up to its billing. Having dropped the first set on a double fault, the swashbuckling Greek won a dramatic 77-minute second on his sixth set point, having squandered a 3-1 and 5-3 lead.

The best rally of the match came during a see-saw 13-minute game at 5-4 in the second set, with Wawrinka ripping groundstrokes and smashes as Tsitsipas retrieved.

The Swiss, who had two knee surgeries in 2017, prevailed with a backhand drop shot that touched the net on the23rd shot, to a standing ovation from the crowd.

After splitting the third and fourth sets, the 28th-seeded Wawrinka stamped his authority on his younger opponent, who had squandered three break points at 5-5 in the decider.

Serving to stay in the match at 6-7, Tsitsipas dumped a forehand into the net to hand his opponent two match points and Wawrinka took advantage to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2017 French Open where he went on to make the final.

Nadal ends Londero's run

Rafael Nadal

IMAGE: Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during his fourth round match against Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Rafael Nadal ended the dream run of French Open debutant Juan Ignacio Londero with a typically dominant 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 victory to power into the quarter-finals.

In hot and breezy conditions, the Spaniard looked once again produced claycourt tennis of the highest quality to make the last eight of a Grand Slam event for the 38th time.

The tone was set when he broke the 25-year-old Londero's serve in the second game of the Court Philippe Chatrier duel and while his 78th-ranked opponent never threw in the towel he could only try to delay the inevitable.

Londero had a break point early in the third set but Nadal stamped out that danger and broke in the very next game to close in on victory.

With his eyes fixed firmly on claiming a 12th French Open title next Sunday he seemed eager to finish the job swiftly, but after moving 4-1 ahead in the third set he dropped serve for the first time in the match.

Nadal's pace appeared to drop ever so slightly and Londero even sensed another break two games later when heavy hitting got him to 0-30 on the second seed's serve, but Nadal reeled off four consecutive points, holding with an ace.

He finished the match with a signature forehand to set up a clash with Kei Nishikori or Benoit Paire.

Marketa Vondrousova

IMAGE: Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic acknowledges the applause from the crowd after winning her fourth round match against Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Teenager Marketa Vondrousova continued to impress at the French Open as she walloped Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 6-2, 6-0 to reach her maiden Grand Slam quarter-finals on Sunday.

The 19-year-old Czech, who made quarter-final appearances at Indian Wells and Miami and reached the final on clay in Istanbul this season, blew the 12th seed off court with a mix of power and guile from the baseline.

Vondrousova tormented a sorry Sevastova with drop shots throughout, bagging the last nine games to advance in searing heat.

She has won all her four matches in Paris within 90 minutes and without dropping a set.

Petra Martic

IMAGE: Croatia's Petra Martic reacts after winning her fourth round match against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

She next faces Petra Martic, the woman who beat her in the Istanbul final, after the Croatian 31st seed advanced in much more laborious fashion.

Martic, who career has been hampered by back problems and slipped down to 662nd in the WTA rankings in April 2017, snatched a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 win over Estonian Kaia Kanepi.

In a see-saw encounter, Kanepi broke decisively in the 12th game to take the opening set but Martic piled on the pressure as she raced through the second to force a decider.

Both players suffered early jitters as they each dropped serve twice in the first six games.

Martic saved a couple of break points at 4-3 before stealing Kanepi's serve once again to move 5-4 up and serve it out, prevailing on her first match point.

Konta first British woman into French Open quarters since 1983

Johanna Konta

IMAGE: Britain's Johanna Konta in action during her fourth round match against Croatia's Donna Vekic. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Johanna Konta proved that she had found her comfort zone on Roland Garros’s red clay as she surged to a 6-2, 6-4 win over Donna Vekic to become the first British woman to reach the quarter-finals of the French Open in 36 years.

Konta, who before this year had never won a match at the claycourt major in four previous appearances, struck 33 winners, including seven aces to dispatch the 23rd-seeded Croatian on the hottest day of the tournament so far, with temperatures set to rise to as high as 31 degrees Celsius.

Vekic was broken five times.

The last British woman to reach the Paris quarters was Jo Durie in 1983. Durie eventually lost in the semis.

Although Konta and Vekic had split their previous six encounters, including an epic clash in the second round of Wimbledon in 2017 that lasted more than three hours, this was their first meeting on clay.

After three straight breaks of serve, Konta was the first to hold, going up 3-1.

With Vekic struggling to land a first serve in, Konta went up a double break for 5-2. Serving for the first set, the Briton saved four break points before taking it with her third ace.

After swapping breaks early in the second set, a drop shot handed Konta another break. She held serve to love clinch the match in 84 minutes.

Stephens downs Muguruza to reach French Open last eight

Last year's runner-up Sloane Stephens downed former champion Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday to book her place in the French Open quarter-finals.

Seventh seed Stephens struggled with her serve but she was more consistent on Court Philippe Chatrier and set up a meeting with Britain's Johanna Konta in the last eight.

The 2017 US Open winner is now the clear favourite in her half of the draw after the exits of world number two Karolina Pliskova and one of the pre-tournament favourites Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

"I think Mugu is one of the most intense players out on tour. She has a lot of, like, good, strong energy. You can feel it from the other side of the court," Stephens said.

"And I think sometimes if you get too passive, that kind of takes over you and your game, like, what you're trying to do.

"So like I said, you just have to match that. You have to stay intense. You have to move your feet. You got to do all the things that you know how to do to combat that energy."

Stephens shook off a wobbly start by breaking back for 3-3 and she broke 2016 champion Muguruza's serve again to move 5-3 up.

The American's serve was still far from perfect, however, and she surrendered the extra break right away.

She bagged the opening set, however, on her opponent's equally inconsistent serve.

Another break in the second set allowed her to serve for the match and she wrapped it up on her fifth match point when 19th seed Muguruza returned a second serve poorly.

She is the first American of the singles draw in the last eight and could be followed by Madison Keys, Sofia Kenin and Amanda Anisimova who are all in fourth-round action on Monday.

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