Rafa and Halep through to quarter finals
Originally published on 04/06/18 00:00
The start of the second week of Roland Garros was not without drama, which began when Serena Williams withdrew because of an injury to her ‘pec’ (pectoralis) muscle, meaning that the much-anticipated fourth round match up with Maria Sharapova did not happen.
Sharapova’s next opponent, Garbine Muguruza took her place in the quarter final by virtue of the retirement through injury after two games of her fourth round opponent Lesia Tsurenko. The Ukrainian had a injury to her right leg.
Daria Kasatkina came back from the overnight suspension of her match due to poor light on Sunday, against Caroline Wozniacki to defeat the Dane 7-6(5) 6-3. The Russian said she was surprised that the match played on Suzanne Lenglen last night was moved to Court Philippe Chatrier today:
“This was a little bit weird point for me, like when I serve when I just came on the court,” she said, “but I think this is important experience, and I’m really happy at the end I was mentally more tough.” Kasatkina will play Sloane Stephens on Tuesday.
It is ten years since World No 1 Simona Halep won the girls’ singles title at Roland Garros and today she came a step closer to winning the main event when she defeated Elise Mertens. Mertens who was seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam had a 16-1 mark on the clay this season, having won back-to-back titles at Lugano and Rabat. But today Halep was just too strong for her opponent,
“I think it was a great match,” Halep said, “and the way I played gives me confidence that I did everything well until now. It’s never easy to play against her. I played in Madrid and I felt that she’s very aggressive. She wants to play fast, so I think today I did the same thing.”
Angelique Kerber equaled her Roland Garros best result when she defeated home favourite Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-3. Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam where the German has failed to reach the final.
The two time Grand Slam champion said “I have tried to play better on clay in recent years.”
“I think it’s more, in my mind,” Kerber said. ”I am trying to enjoy playing on clay. Because the last years I was always, like, too fast, I was always overpowering my tennis, and now I’m trying to play more relaxed and trying to move better.”
Women Quarter final (top half)
Simona Halep vs Angelique Kerber
Garbine Muguruza vs. Maria Sharapova
Rafael Nadal who celebrated his 32ndbirthday on Sunday, took two and a half hours to defeat 22 year-old Roland Garros debutante, Maximilian Marterer 6-3 6-2 7-6 (4)
“He had a great tournament here, so I wish him all the best,” Rafa said of his opponent. ”It is good to have new players coming that have positive energy and play well. Yeah, was good to play against a young player here, yeah, in the fourth round of Roland Garros, in the center court.”
The win was Nadal’s 900thTour level match win.
Diego Schwartzman beat 2017 US Open finalist Kevin Anderson in five sets 1-6 2-6 7-5 7-6 (0) 6-2. He plays Rafa in the quarter final. The pair practiced together together at Rafa’s Academy in Spain.
“I practiced 45 minutes with Diego.” Nadal smiled “I played with him at the academy, but I’m never going to invite him again, because every time he comes, he comes out much better”.
“I’m happy to see Diego here. It’s his second time, and he seems to feel okay. And I hope I’ll continue being operational and that we can prepare more. We only had three days together at home and I had to rest.”
Juan Martin del Potro joined fellow Argentinean Schwartzman in the quarter finals when he beat John Isner 6-4 6-4 6-4 in just under two hours. Marin Cilic defeated Fabio Fognini in five sets.
Quarter final (top half)
Rafael Nadal vs. Diego Schwartzman
Marin Cilic vs. Juan Martin Del Potro