Monday, October 5, 2020

French Open quarterfinals to feature rematches

Novak Djokovic, practicing at Indian Wells last year, will play
Pablo Carreno Busta in a rematch of their infamous U.S. Open
encounter last month. Photo by Harjanto Sumali
   Rematches will be the theme of Wednesday's quarterfinals in the French Open.
   Most notably, top-ranked Novak Djokovic will face 17th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain. Djokovic was defaulted from the U.S. Open last month for accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball after Carreno Busta had broken serve to lead 6-5 in the fourth round. Djokovic has won their three other meetings, including two on clay.
   Djokovic, who won the 2016 French Open to complete a career Grand Slam, dispatched 15th-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 today in Paris to improve to 35-1 this year. Carreno Busta outclassed qualifier Daniel Altmaier of Germany 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 to reach the French Open quarterfinals for the second time.
   Also Wednesday, fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece will take on 13th-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia in a matchup of 22-year-old rising stars. Rublev topped Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 eight days ago to win the Hamburg title on clay and improve to 3-1 in the head-to-head series.
   Tsitsipas beat 18th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-3, 7-6 (9), 6-2 today to become the first Greek man to reach the French Open quarterfinals.
   Rublev, who had never won a match at Roland Garros before this year, outdueled Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (3) in 3 hours, 54 minutes for his ninth consecutive victory. 
   On the women's side, fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin will play either 30th-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia or unseeded Danielle Collins of St. Petersburg, Fla. That match was postponed by rain. 
   Kenin is 2-0 against Jabeur and 0-1 against Collins this year. Kenin — who won Northern California Challengers in 2016 at 17, 2017 and 2018 — defeated Jabeur 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open en route to her first Grand Slam title and 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the third round of the U.S. Open. Collins clobbered Kenin 6-3, 6-1 in the second round in Adelaide on a hardcourt.
   Kenin advanced today by frustrating France's Fiona Ferro, the Palermo champion in the first tournament after the WTA Tour resumed in early August, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 to reach her first quarterfinal on clay. 
   Kenin cried after the match in front of a sparse crowd. Only 1,000 spectators are allowed each day at Roland Garros because of a surge in coronavirus cases in France.
   "I was just super proud of myself," Kenin, whose only tune-up match for the French Open was a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Victoria Azarenka in the Italian Open, said on wtatennis.com. "Yes, there (were) a lot of emotions. I was just super happy that I won. The crowd wasn't the best, which is understandable, but still I wish it (had) been a little bit different. 
   "I'm super happy that I'm in the quarters. I usually don't play (well) on clay. In the juniors, I hated the clay. Last year, I started to like it for the first time."
   Seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion and a French Open semifinalist in 2012, and unseeded Laura Siegemund, the reigning U.S. Open doubles champion with Vera Zvonareva, will meet after winning in straight sets. Kvitova trounced Siegemund 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of the 2015 U.S. Open in their only previous encounter.
   In a showdown between this year's Grand Slam doubles champions, seventh-seeded Mate Pavic of Croatia and Bruno Soares of Brazil outlasted third-seeded Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain 4-6, 6-4, 7-5. 
   Ram, who was named a volunteer assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley in June, and Salisbury won the Australian Open, and Pavic and Soares claimed the U.S. Open
   In the second round of boys singles, ninth-seeded Arthur Fery, a Stanford freshman from Great Britain, crushed Mario Mansilla Diez of Spain 6-1, 6-0 in 47 minutes.

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