Sign Up for Sports World News’ Newsletter and never miss out on our most popular stories.
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 07: Lorenzo Musetti embraces Novak Djokovic of Serbia after he retires through injury in their mens singles fourth round macth during day nine of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros on June 07, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo : Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
The stage is finally set for the quarterfinal round of the 2021 French Open. Legends Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal booked their places in the last eight with hard-fought victories over young Italian stars Lorenzo Musetti and Jannik Sinner.
In the women’s draw, Coco Gauff and defending champion Iga Swiatek sealed their passage to the quarterfinals with impressive straight-set wins over Ons Jabeur and Marta Kostyuk, respectively.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal remain on course for epic semifinal clash
There’s just no quit in Novak Djokovic. Trailing by two sets after losing a pair of tiebreakers to Lorenzo Musetti, Djokovic dug deep into his bag of tricks, dropping just a single game the rest of the way to pull off a stunning 6-7 (7), 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0 ret win. It was an impressive comeback victory by the world no. 1, who reached his 49th Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Faced with what would have been his earliest exit at Roland Garros since 2009, Djokovic came through when it mattered most, winning 13 consecutive games from a 3-1 edge in the third set. He then took a 4-0 lead in the decider, wherein Musetti finally retired after complaining of cramps and lower back pain.
The 18-time Grand Slam champion will next face Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinals, with Djokovic holding a 1-0 edge in their head-to-head matchup. The 2016 French Open champion defeated Berrettini, 6-2, 6-1, in their lone meeting in the 2019 ATP Finals.
On the other hand, Rafael Nadal also survived an early scare, beating 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3, 6-0, in a match that lasted just two hours 20 minutes. Trailing 3-5 in the opening set, Nadal showed why he is the 13-time Roland Garros champion, reeling in eight consecutive games to swing the momentum in his favor.
The Spaniard dropped just three more games the rest of the way to secure a quarterfinal clash with Diego Schwartzman. It will be Nadal’s 15th quarterfinal appearance in the French Open.
Nadal has dominated Schwartzman in the past, holding a 10-1 edge in their head-to-head meetings. He has won both of their previous matches in the French Open, including last year’s semifinal.
Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff barge into the last eight
With youngsters Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff recording impressive victories in the round of 16 on Monday, the future is definitely now. Defending champion Swiatek continued her fine form in this event, racking up a 6-3 6-4 victory over 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk. The Pole has now extended her unbeaten run at Roland Garros to 11 matches, with all of those victories coming in straight sets.
There’s no question that Swiatek is now the overwhelming favorite to win this event, given that she is the only player left in the draw that has won a Grand Slam title and also the only player left to have gone beyond the quarterfinals.
One player who can stop Swiatek’s run is Coco Gauff, who broke new ground by reaching her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal. Gauff is the youngest woman at 17 years and 86 days old to reach the quarterfinal stage of a Slam in the singles since Nicole Vaidisova played in the French Open quarterfinals in 2006 at the age of 17 years and 44 days old.
READ MORE ON SWN:
© 2018 Sportsworldnews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.