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Originally published on 04/06/17 00:00

Gasquet vs. Monfils, c’est fini

In a somewhat anti-climactic end to the clash between the two favourite Frenchmen, Richard Gasquet was forced to forfeit the match due to injury. Gasquet was hoping to make a victory over Gael Monfils his 100th Grand Slam win but called time on the face-off at 4-3 in the third set.

Despite injury, it was a competitive match ­– Monfils took the first set 7-6(5) but Gasquet clinched the second 5-7.

Commentators speculated that the extra night afforded to the players may have given Gasquet time to rest his bad back but he had to receive medical treatment on-court – this time to have his right thigh strapped.

“I had reached the end of my tether. It was too painful to go on,” said Gasquet. “Nothing's ever written in stone. I had had back problems for the past two, three weeks with a kind of neuralgia in the leg, no sensation in the thigh. It’s very painful, but my back is better. I did my best for this neuralgia to disappear. I think the nerve is probably still a bit irritated.

"I tried as much as I could, but towards the middle of the second set I understood it was going to be very hard. I’m disappointed, but I simply couldn't go on any longer.”

The crowd showed their love for the home player, chanting “Richard, Richard, Richard” as Gasquet left the court.  

 

Barca striker a fan of Rafa

Former professional footballer Patrick Kluivert came to shake Rafael Nadal’s hand after his win on Sunday.

The former Barcelona and Ajax striker uploaded a photo on Instagram of the pair together with the caption: “Congrats, great match.”

Rafa is in fact a Real Madrid supporter but he was no less pleased to have the support of another sporting champ.

The nine-time French Open winner beat Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets, maintaining his impressive record of never having lost to a fellow Spaniard at Roland Garros. The 31-year-old, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday, has dropped only 20 games in his first four matches at this year’s French Open.

 

Women’s defending champion defeated

Garbine Muguruza broke down in the press conference after her loss to Kristina Mladenovic. The conference ended early with the 2016 Roland Garros champion unable to continue answering questions, emotion overwhelming her.

Critics in part blamed the French crowd for Muguruza’s delicate disposition as they booed the Spaniard on court. Walking off after the match, she wagged her finger at the fans disapprovingly.

 

Meanwhile, home favourite Mladenovic wowed the crowd, overpowering Muguruza despite 16 double faults and winning 6-1 3-6 6-3.

Mladenovic was also left crying, fighting back the tears of joy to speak to the crowd. “You’re making me cry,” she said. “It is a fourth-round match against the defending champ. It’s a match that was eagerly awaited by everyone, myself included.

“I’m not perfect, I make mistakes. I made about 35 double faults. You give me the courage and strength to keep going in every point. It’s thanks to you that I’m through and we’re in the quarters, yeah!”

In what has been a surprising French Open full of unexpected wins and losses, only three of the top 10 seeds now remain in the women’s draw.  

 

Brit watch first

For the first time, Jamie Murray and his partner, Bruno Soares, are through to the French Open quarter-finals. The pair, seeded No.5, defeated Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas, the No.9 seeds, 7-6(5) 6-2.

Murray said: “This tournament everyone's been losing and we've kind of just been there watching. It's a big opportunity for us now to progress far in the tournament. We'll just do our best to focus on each match and fight for every point like we did today.”

 

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