By Shrivathsa Sridhar PARIS (Reuters) -Casper Ruud continued his bid to reach back-to-back finals at the French Open by fending off Chile’s Nicolas Jarry in a 7-6(3) 7-5 7-5 fourth-round win on Monday as Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur also stayed on course for a maiden Grand Slam crown. Alexander Zverev hardly broke sweat in the […]
Tennis-Ruud roars, Jabeur and Swiatek soar into French Open quarters
By Shrivathsa Sridhar
PARIS (Reuters) -Casper Ruud continued his bid to reach back-to-back finals at the French Open by fending off Chile’s Nicolas Jarry in a 7-6(3) 7-5 7-5 fourth-round win on Monday as Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur also stayed on course for a maiden Grand Slam crown.
Alexander Zverev hardly broke sweat in the night session to seal a 6-1 6-4 6-3 win over Bulgarian 28th seed Grigor Dimitrov and set up a showdown with Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
Ruud, who has only dropped two sets in four matches so far, faced a tricky test against lanky claycourt specialist Jarry but pulled through in three hours and 20 minutes as his opponent failed to make his chances count in the last two sets.
“If we had gone five sets I don’t know how long we would have played,” said Ruud on Court Philippe Chatrier. “I have to thank my team for pushing me in practice. I did the work and physically I was ready for more.”
He next meets Holger Rune in a rematch of last year’s quarter-final after the Dane got a helping hand from the umpire with a missed but glaring double bounce to battle past Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 7-6(3) 3-6 6-4 1-6 7-6(7).
Etcheverry reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final with a 7-6(8) 6-0 6-1 victory over Yoshihito Nishioka, the 27th seed.
Jabeur moved into the quarter-finals at the claycourt major for the first time with a 6-3 6-1 victory over American Bernarda Pera and hoped that the romantic atmosphere of Paris will help her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title.
“Paris is always romantic, day or night. Winning here will definitely be an amazing memory for me,” said Jabeur, who became the first African player to reach the quarters at each of the four majors in the Open Era.
The Tunisian had reached the Australian Open quarter-final in 2020 and finished runner-up to Elena Rybakina and Iga Swiatek in the Wimbledon and U.S. Open title clashes last year.
The 28-year-old is not getting complacent ahead of her clash with 14th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia, who beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-7(3) 6-3 7-5 to become the first Brazilian woman since Maria Bueno in 1968 to make the quarter-finals of a major.
“For now, I just want to take it one match at a time,” added Jabeur. “I will have a very difficult quarter-final. I was just taking it one match at a time, trying to make it to the second week. Now I’m going to push more for the next few matches.”
Haddad Maia became only the second Brazilian woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final in the Open Era after Bueno and she got there in three hours and 51 minutes — the longest women’s match of the tournament.
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Last year’s runner-up Coco Gauff outclassed Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-5 6-2 in windy conditions to reach the quarter-finals where she will face holder Iga Swiatek in a rematch of the 2022 final.
Poland’s top seed Swiatek set up the blockbuster meeting when her ailing fourth-round opponent Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine retired while down 5-1 in the first set after she called on the trainer and had her blood pressure checked.
Russian Daria Kasatkina said she left the tournament with a sense of bitterness after being booed off by the crowd following her fourth-round defeat by Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina on Sunday.
“Leaving Paris with a very bitter feeling. All these days, after every match I’ve played in Paris I always appreciated and thanked the crowd for their support and being there for the players,” Kasatkina wrote on Twitter.
“But yesterday I was booed for just being respectful on my opponent’s position not to shake hands. Me and Elina showed respect to each other after a tough match but leaving the court like that was the worst part of yesterday.
“Be better, love each other. Don’t spread hate.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in ParisEditing by Christian Radnedge)