Saturday, October 3, 2020

Qualifier Altmaier ousts No. 7 seed to reach last 16

   Daniel Altmaier had never played in a Grand Slam tournament before the French Open, and he wasn't sure he was going to enter qualifying at Roland Garros.
   That was six victories ago. The 22-year-old German shocked Italy's Matteo Berrettini, the seventh seed and a U.S. Open semifinalist last year, 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-4 today on Court Philippe Chatrier to reach the fourth round in Paris.
   Altmaier, ranked No. 186, became just the fifth qualifier since 2000 to reach the last 16 in a major. Four accomplished the feat in the French Open: David Goffin of Belgium in 2012, Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina in 2019 and Sebastian Korda and Altmaier this year. The exception is Hyung-Taik Lee of South Korea in the 2000 U.S. Open.
   It's the first time since 1998 that two male qualifiers reached the fourth round of the French Open. Russia's Marat Safin, who was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2016, and Germany's Jens Knippschild previously achieved that distinction.
   "It's my first time on this court and playing in Paris," Altmaier said in an on-court interview. "I'm delighted to be in the fourth round. My coach (Francisco Yunis) and I have been working so hard to be here, and while I've struggled with a few injuries, I am super-pleased (to break through) at Roland Garros.
   "Before qualifying, I was struggling with an injury, so I wasn't sure I was going to play. I hope the crowd and the TV audience enjoyed watching, as I want to entertain."
   Altmaier will face 17th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta, who reached his second U.S. Open semifinal last month, on Monday for a quarterfinal berth. Carreno Busta eliminated fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, seeded 10th, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
   Later on Court Philippe Chatrier, top-ranked Novak Djokovic dominated lucky loser Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 to improve to 34-1 this year.
   Djokovic, who was defaulted in his fourth-round match against Carreno Busta in the U.S. Open, has lost only five games in each of his three matches at Roland Garros this year. He will play 15th-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia in the fourth round.
   Fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece led 6-1, 6-2, 3-1 when Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia retired with a foot injury.
   On the women's side, 30th-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia topped eighth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, the San Jose (Calif.) runner-up last year, 7-6 (7), 2-6, 6-3 to become the first Arab woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament. 
   Jabeur, the 2011 French Open girls champion, reached her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal in this year's Australian Open. She will meet unseeded American Danielle Collins, who ousted 11th seeded Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 French Open champion, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.
   Collins, a semifinalist in the 2019 Australian Open and inaugural (2018) San Jose tournament, overcame a double-break deficit in the third set against Muguruza, a semifinalist in the last Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2017.
   Another American, fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin, dismissed qualifier Irina Bara of Romania 6-2, 6-0 in 72 minutes. Kenin — the reigning Australian Open champion who won Northern California Challengers in 2016 at age 17, 2017 and 2018 — will meet unseeded Fiona Ferro of France.
   Seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion and a French Open semifinalist in 2012, beat 18-year-old Canadian left-hander Leylah Fernandez, last year's girls champion at Roland Garros, 7-5, 6-3. Kvitova trailed 1-5 and saved two set points in the first set.
   Germany's Laura Siegemund, who won the U.S. Open doubles title with Russia's Vera Zvonareva last month, surprised 13th-seeded Petra Martic, a Croat who advanced to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros last year, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-0.
   In doubles:
   —Third-seeded Rajeev Ram, a volunteer assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley, and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over 14th-seeded Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin of France. 
   Ram, 36, and Salisbury, 28, won their first major men's doubles title in this year's Australian Open.
   —Second seeds and defending champions Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France beat former USC teammates Kaitlyn Christian from Orange, Calif., and Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area who plays for Mexico, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

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