Teenage dreams for Sinner, Swiatek at French Open

PARIS: As 12-time champion, Rafael Nadal breezed into the last eight for the 14th time Teenagers Jannik Sinner and Iga Swiatek sent shockwaves reaching their maiden Grand Slam quarterfinals through Roland Garros on Sunday.

To become the youngest men’s Grand Slam quarter-finalist since Novak Djokovic in Paris in 2006 Italy is Sinner 19 and ranked 75 defeated sixth seed Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

His reward is a clash with Nadal beaten American qualifier Sebastian Korda 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 to stay contentedly on route for a record equalling 20th Grand Slam circlet.

Against just two defeats since his title-winning debut in 2005, it was Nadal’s 97th win at the tournament.

World number 54 Swiatek, also 19, shocked top seed and title favorite Simona Halep 6-1, 6-2.

It was appropriate that additional shock wins delivered by qualifiers in a contest turned advantage down by the corona virus meant a four month wait and with a mass capacity of just 1,000 a day.

Sinner is first player to reach the last eight on his Roland Garros entrance since Nadal lifted the cup in 2005.

Sinner after his beat of US Open runner up Zverev said, “Today was very tough knowing that it’s going to be a long match but in the end I’m very happy about my performance.”

Halep who unsuccessful to slice out a single break point Swiatek fired 30 winners past 2018 champion.

“I am surprised I could do this,” admitted Swiatek after ending the 17 match charming streak of Halep the crushing favorite in the absence of 2019 champion Ashleigh Barty and US Open winner Naomi Osaka and next the wound compulsory removal of Serena Williams.

Swept off court in just 45 minutes it was a dramatic turn for the Pole who won just one game against the Romanian at the same stage in Paris last year.

Halep had arrived in Paris with clay court titles from Prague and Rome admitted, “She played really well, it was her match today.”

“I will have a chocolate and be better tomorrow.”

Swiatek will face Trevisan for a place in the semi-finals after the 26-year-old registered a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Bertens.

To make the last eight since Yaroslava Shvedova in 2012 Trevisan and Podoroska are the first qualifiers.

“I’m living in a dream,” said the Italian who saved two match points in her third round win over Greek 20th seed Maria Sakkari.

The 23-year-old Podoroska ranked at 255 at the start of the season has now won 42 matches across all tours in 2020 despite the shortened season.

Paola Suarez who made the semi-finals in Paris in 2004 she will bid to imitate national.

Svitolina reached the quarterfinals for the third time with a 6-1, 6-3 wins over France’s Caroline Garcia.

Sunday’s shocks mean that only four seeds remain in the women’s draw Svitolina fourth-seeded Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova seeded at seven and Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur the 30th seed.

Nadal will be playing in his 42nd Grand Slam quarterfinal when he faces Sinner.

Petr Korda never recovered from slipping rapidly to a 5-0 shortfall in the first set Korda the world number 213 and son of 1998 Australian Open champion and 1992 Roland Garros runner-up.

At least had the consolation of breaking serve once in the third set the 20-year-old who was so in fear of Nadal when he was growing up that he named his cat after the Spaniard.

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