Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Swiatek, Gauff make short work of others

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PARIS, June 3: After the French Open marathon came the sprints.
Defending champion Iga Swiatek swept into the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in just 40 minutes after a crushing 6-0, 6-0 win against Anastasia Potapova.
U.S. Open champion Coco Gauff took only 60 minutes to rout unseeded Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1, 6-2.
The 20-year-old American looked set for an even quicker victory when she led 5-0, but Cocciaretto fought back, getting a hearty cheer from the crowd after winning the next game.
Swiatek wound up with 48 points to just 10 for Potapova. The match ended when Potapova hit a forehand into the net on the first match point.
“I was just really focused and in the zone,” Swiatek said. “It went pretty quickly, pretty weird.” Their match started at around 11 a.m. on Court Philippe Chatrier.
That’s just eight hours after men’s defending champion Novak Djokovic finished his five-set, 4 1/2-hour marathon against Lorenzo Musetti just after 3 a.m. in the latest finish in tournament history.
Swiatek said late finishes don’t just end with the match and are not healthy.
“Usually it takes us, like, four hours to even chill, and you need to do recovery, media. It’s not like the work ends with the match point,” she said. “I was always one of the players that said that we should start a little bit earlier.” Gauff thinks the issue needs to be addressed.
“It’s a complicated thing,” she said. “But I definitely think for the health and safety of the players it would be in the sport’s best interest to try to avoid those matches finishing, or starting, after a certain time.” Gauff says there’s also a fine balance to be struck.
“Yesterday I spent all day on site because I had doubles. We came at 9:00 (a.m.) and at 7:00 p.m. it got (postponed). I spent all day here without hitting a ball,” she said.
“That’s not the preparation for the fourth round of a grand slam against the world number one.” Swiatek remains on course for her third consecutive French Open title and fourth overall. The top-ranked Pole plays Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova after the fifth-seeded Czech beat unseeded Serb Olga Danilovic 6-4, 6-2.
Gauff faces No. 8-seeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur, who advanced to her second straight French Open quarterfinal after beating unseeded Dane Clara Tauson 6-4, 6-4.
In the men’s draw, two-time Grand Slam title winner Carlos Alcaraz and 2021 French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas set up a quarterfinal showdown, while No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov got to the final eight in Paris for the first time in 14 appearances and will meet No. 2 Jannik Sinner next.
Dimitrov eliminated No. 8 Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (3), and Australian Open champion Sinner recovered from a terrible start to beat unseeded Corentin Moutet 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. Sinner got broken in each of his first three service games – after holding in 41 of 43 during his first three matches – and fell behind 5-0 just 22 minutes in, before getting going.
The third-seeded Alcaraz beat No. 21-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.
Tsitsipas beat unseeded Italian Matteo Arnaldi 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-2, and the ninth-seeded Greek celebrated enthusiastically with the Court Suzanne Lenglen crowd.
Bopanna-Ebden pair progresses to QFs
Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden erased a one-set deficit to edge past the fighting pair of N Sriram Balaji and MA Reyes-Varela Martinez in the Super Tie-breaker, moving to the French Open quarterfinals, here on Monday.
The second-seeded Indo-Australian pair kept its cool in crunch moments to come out 6-7(2) 6-3 7-6 (10-8) winners in the men’s doubles third round.
Bopanna is yet to finalise his partner for the Paris Games and Balaji must have impressed the seasoned Coorgi, who is only the third Indian to win Grand Slam titles. Bopanna, being a top-10 player, has the choice to pick his partner for the Games.
De Minaur is first Aussie to reach QF since 2004
Australian singles star Alex de Minaur stunned the 2021 US Open winner and fifth seed Daniil Medvedev in a battle between two of the top competitors in the circuit at Stade Roland Garros.
The 11th-seeded De Minaur upset Medvedev, an Australian Open finalist, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 in a hard-fought encounter on Court Suzanne-Lenglen. The Australian star was resolute in defence and clinical in dispatching any short balls sent down by his higher-ranked opponent in the two-hour, 49-minute win, which improved to 3-6 in the pair’s ATP head-to-head series. (AP/PTI/IANS)

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