Indian star Rohan Bopanna bowed out of the Roland Garros after being beaten in the men’s doubles quarterfinal.
Novak Djokovic came back from two sets down to overcome Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti 6-7, 6-7, 6-1, 6-0, 4-0 at the French Open on Monday to qualify for the quarterfinals. Musetti dug in to keep himself in the rally, before unleashing a cross-court winner in the first set, which had gone all the way to a tiebreak. He showed similar resolve in the second to go two sets up.
However, the Serbian clawed his way back into the game from thereon. He won two consecutive one-sided sets, to take full command of the game. Musetti struggled with a groin issue and finally gave Djokovic a walkover towards the end of the fifth set. The Italian received lots of plaudits for his efforts, with his opponent also applauding him off as he left the court.
Next up for the World no.1 will be another Italian in the form of Matteo Berrettini, who received a walkover from Roger Federer.
Elsewhere, India’s Rohan Bopanna was shown the exit door in the men’s doubles of the French Open quarter-finals. Bopanna and his Croatian partner Franko Skugor went down in straight set 5-7, 3-6 to Spaniards Pedro Martinez and Pablo Andujar.
The match lasted for an hour and 17 minutes, but the Indo-Croat combination never really found any foothold in the contest. Bopanna and Skugor had got a walkover on Sunday against Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador.
Sakkari shocks Kenin
Greece’s Maria Sakkari demolished 2020 French Open finalist Sofia Kenin 6-1, 6-3 in the last 16. Sakkari broke the World No.5 six times while Kenin also had 32 unforced errors and served nine double faults. The American was seen off in a match that lasted for just 68 minutes.
In doing so, Sakkari continued a memorable tournament for the Greeks in the ongoing French Open with her compatriot Stefanos Tsitsipas also reaching the quarter-finals in the men’s singles. Sakkari will now come up against defending champion Iga Swiatek or Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk in the quarters.
Gauff, Krejcikova record thumping victories
Coco Gauff, 17, reached her maiden Grand Slam quarter-finals with a resounding 6-3, 6-1 win against Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. Gauff’s pinpoint serves were a sight to behold. The US tennis sensation has been a revelation at Roland Garros in 2021.
She is yet to drop a set in the tournament and saw off Jabeur in just 53 minutes. In doing so, the American, at 17 years and 86 days, became the youngest woman to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam in singles since Nicole Vaidisova, who was 17 years and 44 days old when she reached the French Open quarter-finals in 2006.
On the other hand, Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova continued her fine run in the ongoing French Open. After knocking out the much-fancied Elina Svitolina in the earlier round, Krejcikova got the better of Sloane Stephens on Monday.
The Czech’s powerful hitting enabled her to break Stephens’ serve twice in the opening set. From there, she was in complete control, wiping out the American in the second set. Ultimately, the 25-year-old won 6-2, 6-0 on a sunny Suzanne Lenglen court.
Krejcikova will now face Gauff for a spot in the semis. Gauff had recently won the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, which was her second WTA title. Her opponent Krejcikova had claimed the Strasbourg Open in May 2021. Hence, both players are in great form on clay ahead of what should be an enticing semi-final contest.
Unusual preparation for Rybakina, Pavlyuchenkova
Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia have caught the eye over the last week at Roland Garros. While Pavlyuchenkova saw off Victoria Azarenka in the last 16 of the women’s singles, Rybakina was even more impressive in dismantling 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in straight sets. The duo will tackle each other in the French Open quarter-finals on Tuesday.
Ahead of their crucial meeting, Rybakina and Pavlyuchenkova warmed up by teaming together in the women’s doubles category. Their superior form and confidence were on display at the Simonne Mathieu Court. The duo went on to register a comfortable straight-set 6-4, 6-3 win over third seeds Demi Schuurs and Nicole Melichar. Not a bad way to warm up ahead of their first-ever singles matchup.