Seeds fall on Paris clay
Polish teenager Iga Swiatek dumped top seed Simona Halep out of the French Open on Sunday with a crushing 6-1, 6-2 victory to make her maiden Grand Slam quarter final.
Halep came into the fourth round clash on a 17-match unbeaten streak, having defeated the 19-year-old Swiatek, ranked 54th in the world, 6-1, 6-0 in 45 minutes at the same stage last year in the claycourt Grand Slam at Roland Garros.
Swiatek later told reporters: “I did everything that my coach told me about tactics. So it was kind of like a perfect match for me.”
Swiatek avenged that morale-sapping defeat and her victory under the closed roof of Court Philippe Chatrier in 68 minutes was no less impressive against the 2018 French Open champion, ranked number two in the world.
Swiatek hit 30 winners to Halep’s 12, while the Polish player did not face a single breakpoint on her service games.
It will be the first career quarter-final at a Grand Slam for Swiatek, but she was keeping her emotions in check.
The former Wimbledon junior champion will next meet Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan, who also scripted an upset by defeating fifth-seeded Dutch Kiki Bertens 6-4, 6-4.
Trevisan became the first qualifier in eight years to reach the quarter-finals at the French Open.
“I came here two weeks ago to play the qualifiers and today I’m here in the quarter finals. I can’t believe it,” said Trevisan, who will break into the top 100 of the WTA rankings on Monday.
She is the first qualifier to reach the last eight at Roland Garros since Yaroslava Shvedova in 2012, and the 10th overall in the women’s draw since tennis turned professional in 1968.
The 26-year-old Italian converted three break points to take the opening set, with her points at the net and ability to change the pace of rallies leaving a bewildered Bertens searching unsuccessfully for answers.
Rafa Nadal blew away American qualifier Sebastian Korda 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 to romp into the quarter finals and close in on a record-extending 13th title at Roland Garros.
With the sun out and the wind up on Court Philippe Chatrier it always looked like mission impossible for the 213th-ranked Korda, and so it proved in a one-sided fourth round match.
Nadal has lost no sets and only 23 games in reaching his 42nd Grand Slam quarter-final and is yet to face a seed.
The 20-year-old Korda, son of 1992 runner-up Petr, had enjoyed a dream run in his first Tour-level event on clay and was up against his idol — the man he named his cat after.
If he was to stand any chance of making it at all competitive he needed a good start, and he will rue the fact that he lost the first two games despite having game points.
Italian teenager Jannik Sinner became the first debutant to reach the French Open quarter finals since Rafael Nadal in 2005 when he downed German sixth seed Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
The 19-year-old, who will also be the youngest male player since Novak Djokovic in 2006 to feature in the last eight at Roland Garros, will face Nadal for a place in the semi-finals.
Austrian Dominic Thiem was made to sweat before advancing into the quarter finals as he ended Frenchman Hugo Gaston’s dream run with a 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 6-3 victory on Sunday.
Third seed Elina Svitolina ended the run of local hope Caroline Garcia in the French Open with a comfortable 6-1 6-3 win to move into her third quarter final at Roland Garros. Svitolina converted six of her 13 breakpoint opportunities as Garcia struggled with her serve on a windy day.
Having reached the third round on their French Open main draw debut, most teenagers might be content with merely pushing a two-time Grand Slam champion to the limit before losing.
Not Canada’s Leylah Fernandez.
The left-hander, who only turned 18 last month, came close to causing a massive shock on Saturday before going down 7-5, 6-3 to 30-year-old Czech Petra Kvitova.
American Danielle Collins threw the kitchen sink at former champion Garbine Muguruza to force her way into the fourth round of the French Open with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory.
Collins, who has very little experience on clay, was 3-0 down in the decider but battled through to set up a meeting with Tunisian Ons Jabeur, the first Arab woman to reach the last 16 at Roland Garros.
Muguruza seemed to be in control after losing the opening set but eventually crumbled under Collins’ punches.