IMAGES from Day 9 of the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris on Monday.
Teenager Rune dumps last year’s finalist Tsitsipas out of French Open
Teenage sensation Holger Rune outmuscled world number four and last-year’s French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Monday to move into the quarter-finals with his biggest Grand Slam win to date.
The Dane, who has improved more than 350 places in the world rankings in the past 15 months, joins fellow 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz in the last eight, the first time two teenagers made that stage at a Grand Slam since 1994.
“I have an unbelievable feeling. I was so nervous in the end,” said a beaming Rune, playing in his first French Open.
“I was very nervous. I told myself to keep at it and play my plan. I mean it is so great to still be here.”
“Part of the tactic to play as aggressive as possible when he gets shorter balls he attacks them. I really liked playing the drop shots and it worked out pretty good so I am happy.”
Fourth seed Tsitsipas, hunting for his first ever Grand Slam, started well and broke the Dane to go 3-1 up when Rune’s drop shot was not short enough and the Greek whipped a cross-court winner past him.
Rune, however, broke him twice, clinching the set with a disputed line call that went in his favour.
Tsitsipas did not lose his composure and saved three consecutive break points in the very first game of the second set, powering back to seal it.
He did slip up though midway through the third when two double faults and two unforced errors handed Rune a key break and the teenager went 2-1 up in sets when Tsitsipas did well to return a Rune smash but then fired a topspin forehand into the net.
The Dane succeeded in getting Tsitsipas out of his comfort zone on the baseline, sending his tall opponent to the net with drop points and stretching him wide off the court with deep cross-court balls.
Rune had three break points at the start of the fourth which the Greek saved but the teen made amends on his opponent’s next two service game to open up a 5-2 lead with a scorching backhand down the line.
He did show some nerves in the end as Tsitsipas fought back to 5-4 and even had break points but Rune made sure of his big win on the first match point just as the clock ticked past the three hour mark.
Rudd makes maiden Major quarter-final
Eighth seed Casper Ruud reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final when he downed Hubert Hurkacz 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at the French Open on Monday.
Norway’s Ruud, who will face either last year’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas or 19-year-old Holger Rune on Wednesday, overcame a brief fightback from his 12th seeded opponent to achieve one of the goals he had set for himself this season.
“It feels great, it was one of my goals this year. I feel more experienced playing best of five sets,” said Ruud, the first Norwegian in the last eight at Roland Garros.
“Hubert has improved a lot on clay, he has become a dangerous player on all surfaces; he has a dangerous serve but I did well at returning it today.”
After an early trade of breaks, Ruud stole his opponent’s serve again to go 3-1 up as Hurkacz double faulted.
He left no room for hope to the Pole, making only two unforced errors before bagging the set as the 12th seed buried a forehand into the net.
A fine backhand winner down the line gave him the break and a 2-0 lead in the second set, which was another easy affair for Ruud as Hurkacz still had to find his range on serve.
The Pole woke up in the third set and it was a different story, with several spectacular exchanges at the net.
Hurkacz peppered the court with winners and he was rewarded with a break for 4-2 and held throughout to reduce the arrears.
He stole Ruud’s serve right away to take command of the fourth set, only for the Norwegian to fight back for 2-2 with a crosscourt passing shot winner.
Ruud broke decisively for 4-2 as Hurkacz made yet another forehand error.
The Pole saved a match point at 5-2 but bowed out on the second when Ruud fired a crosscourt forehand winner.
Keys locked out of French Open by Russian Kudermetova
Madison Keys totally lost control after a brilliant opening set as she crashed out of the French Open with a 1-6 6-3 6-1 defeat by Russian Veronika Kudermetova on Monday.
The 22nd seed, who was looking to be the third American into the last eight after Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff qualified on Sunday, was powerless against her 25-year-old opponent’s heavy forehand.
Keys raced through a one-sided opening set and seemed to be heading for a comfortable win, but Kudermetova started playing more accurately and took command of the second on court Philippe Chatrier.
The Russian relied on her forehand to put Keys on the back foot and found herself serving for the set in no time. Keys saved six set points as Kudermetova showed signs of nerves.
A big first serve saved her some blushes on the seventh attempt and the Russian carried the momentum into the decider.
A double break gave her a 4-1 lead in just 20 minutes and she bagged the next two games easily to wrap it up when Keys made a forehand unforced error.
“I tried to trust myself, to believe. That was my key,” said the 29th seeded Kudermetova, who will face fellow Russian Daria Kasaktina in her first quarter-final appearance in the singles draw at a major.
“Sometimes I tried to play harder, sometimes with the spin, a little smarter. I did a god job today.”
Kasatkina’s ‘zero mistakes’ carry her into French Open last eight
World number 20 Daria Kasatkina thundered past Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-2 with a near flawless baseline game to reach the French Open quarter-finals for the second time in four years.
The Russian broke her opponent in the first and last game to cruise through the first set in just 41 minutes, and survived a wobble early in the second when Giorgi carved out two break points in a lengthy game that lasted almost eight minutes.
“Zero mistakes,” Kasatkina said when asked about her game plan. “Camila is a very aggressive player and it is really tough to play against her.”
Kasatkina made just 10 unforced errors in the match that lasted an hour and 20 minutes, compared to her opponent’s 37, while also winning all her points at the net along with 50% of her break opportunities.
“The conditions today were good and a bit slower so I had a bit more time. I could manage the important points,” she said on a sunny but chilly morning in Paris.
“At 2-1 on 40-15 (in the second set) I did a technical, tactical mistake. But I tried to be more focused. Zero mistakes, as I said.”
She next faces either Veronika Kudermetova or American Madison Keys.
“Normally I don’t (look at the draw). But now I know who is there. Kudermetova or Keys. Now it’s just one match, two opponents and it does not matter who is on the other side of the net,” said the 25-year-old.
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