Home Sport Rune shocks Tsitsipas at French Open

Rune shocks Tsitsipas at French Open

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Rune, just 19 and ranked 40, swept to a memorable 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win on the back of 54 winners against the 2021 runner-up from Greece.

Holger Rune of Denmark plays Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in their men’s fourth round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 30 May 2022. Picture: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Paris – Teenager Holger Rune became the first Danish man to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Monday when he shocked world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas as women’s top seed Iga Swiatek took her winning streak to 32 matches after surviving a huge scare.

Rune, just 19 and ranked 40, swept to a memorable 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win on the back of 54 winners against the 2021 runner-up from Greece.

With fellow 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz already into the quarter-finals, it’s the first time two teenagers have made it this far in Paris since Hendrik Dreekman and Andrei Medvedev 28 years ago.

In a tense fourth set, Rune gave up a 5-2 lead and fought off three more break points in the 10th game before securing victory when Tsitsipas hit long.

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“I was very nervous and I knew that if I went away from my tactics I would lose,” said Rune, who won his maiden ATP title in Munich in the build-up to Paris.

“I told myself just stick to the plan and that gave me a confidence boost. It’s so great to still be here.”

Tsitsipas said he would be ready for Rune next time.

“He is a very emotional player, he can play great, he absolutely deserves this victory, played better, faced crucial tough moments better,” said the 23-year-old.

“But I can see something different next time with this opponent. I’m pretty convinced I can do way better.”

Rune will next face eighth-seeded Casper Ruud who became the first Norwegian man to reach the last eight with a 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

Zheng injury

The 23-year-old is also into his first ever Grand Slam quarter-final as he continues an impressive season which has seen him win two clay-court titles.

Ruud will start favourite in Wednesday’s match, having won all three of his previous ATP meetings with Rune, all on clay and without dropping a set.

One of those wins came at Monte Carlo last month.

In the women’s draw, world number one Swiatek survived a scare at the hands of injured Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen, dropping the first set before going on to make the quarter-finals.

Swiatek prevailed 6-7 (5/7), 6-0, 6-2 to equal the third best winning streak this century of 32 matches set by Justine Henin 14 years ago.

“She played amazing tennis,” said Swiatek. “I am proud to be still in the tournament.”

In an 82-minute opening set, 74th-ranked Zheng saved five set points, had two of her own and then clawed her way back from 2/5 down in the tiebreak to stun the top seed.

As the 2020 Roland Garros champion’s streak looked in peril, Zheng required a medical timeout at 0-3 in the second set for a leg injury.

Zheng, who had defeated 2018 champion Simona Halep on her way to the fourth round, returned with her right thigh heavily strapped and quickly dropped the second set.

All-Russian clash

Swiatek carved out a double break in the decider against her tiring opponent, whose injury contributed to her 46 unforced errors, and will face US 11th seed Jessica Pegula for a place in the semi-finals.

Pegula downed Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to add a last-eight place in Paris to similar runs at the Australian Open in 2021 and 2022.

Daria Kasatkina and compatriot Veronika Kudermetova ensured there will be a Russian in the semi-finals after they set-up a last-eight clash.

Kasatkina, seeded 20th, took advantage of Italian Camila Giorgi’s 37 unforced errors to win their last-16 tie, 6-2, 6-2.

Kudermetova reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final as the world number 29 came back from a set down to defeat 2018 semi-finalist Madison Keys of the United States, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Monday’s night match on Court Philippe Chatrier sees world number two and US Open champion Medvedev, a quarter-finalist in 2021, play Marin Cilic.

The winner will face Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev who made the quarter-finals for the second time when Italian opponent Jannik Sinner retired from their clash with a left knee injury.

Rublev was ahead 1-6, 6-4, 2-0 when Sinner quit.

AFP

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