The fourth round began at the French Open Monday in Paris. Two matches went straight sets, two went the distance.
Rafael Nadal upped his win streak to 13 and 38 straight sets after easing past 22-year-old Maximilian Marterer 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(4).
The German Marterer actually pushed Nadal early gain a quick break. And then again in the third when grabbed another before falling in a breaker. It wasn’t
“The match in general terms has been positive,” said Nadal. “6-3, 6-2 was a very positive 12 games for me. Then, in the third set, I had the chance at the beginning to get the break and probably take an important advantage to close the match, but I didn’t convert it. I then made a couple of mistakes with my serve, and then I suffered in a tough third set. I stopped legs a little bit, in terms of playing aggressive, and that, of course, made the match more equal. He’s a good player.”
The win was also Nadal’s 900th of his career. But he needs just three more wins to get that 11th French Open, which is the goal this week.
Next will be Argentine Diego Schwartzman who pulled off one of his best comeback wins against Kevin Anderson. Anderson overpowered Schwartzman in the first two sets, then led by 5-3 in the third and fourth before Schwartzman, after four straight breaks of serve to start the fifth, gain the upperhand in the fifth to win it 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(0), 6-2.
“It’s definitely one of the most emotional matches that I can say I have played,” said Schwartzman.
“I was a little bit upset because at the beginning of the match I didn’t expect the first two sets [to be so one-sided],” said Schwartzman. “I was thinking about my first three matches here, and I started the match with confidence. And then after one hour I was down 6-1, 6-2… Maybe that just helped me to be focused.
“After the second set I tried to start the third set… more aggressive, trying to play good points because he was dominating the match in the first two sets,” Schwartzman added.
Nadal leads Schwartzman 5-0.
“I know it’s [Nadal's] second home, and it’s going to be a really tough match,” said Schwartzman. “I need to recover well, because against him I need to run a lot and do my best.”
Added Rafa, “I am in quarter-finals and the biggest test now is the next round… You go on court. You can win, you can lose. That’s the only thing that you need to be ready for.”
In the second quarterfinal from the top half, it will be former US Open champions Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic.
Del Potro gain revenge on John Isner for two Masters losses at Miami and Paris, with a comfortable 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory.
“Being in the quarter-finals in a Grand Slam, in this particular Grand Slam, is very special, is something I’m very happy about and I’m playing well,” Del Potro said.
“It wasn’t an easy match. John is very dangerous. Nobody knows what he could do, playing in a match,” Del Potro added. “The key of the match was only three breaks.”
Cilic rolled early against Fabio Fognini then hung on in five sets for a 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-3.
“It was a difficult. It was a tough day mentally. First two sets I played solid. I think Fabio was not playing that well. He was missing some balls, and I gave him opportunity in that third set,” Cilic said. “First few games in the fifth set I also was not returning well, and it was who is going to break first, and I was lucky it was me. I just continued to put pressure until those last couple points and then, lucky we got through.”
Cilic is behind 10-2 against Del Potro.
“It’s always a tough matchup between both of us. I think we are always playing some tough matches, and I believe this one is going to be, for both of us, very tough,” Cilic said. “There’s going to be a lot of points played from the baseline that can make a difference… I think, in these kind of matches, not many points are differentiating the players. So it’s going to be extremely important to play every single point on a high level.”
Said del Potro, “Marin is a great player. We know each other a lot. We have played great matches in the past, many five-set matches together… I know how tough his game is, but I will try to be even better than today, play my tennis, and then see if I have a chance to win.”
Tomorrow, the quarterfinals begin with Novak Djokovic the big favorite against Italian Cinderella Marco Cecchinato who is playing his first Grand Slam quarterfinal after the 25-year-old had previously never before won a match at this level.
The marquee match pits Dominic Thiem against Alexander Zverev in a rematch of their Madrid final won by the German. Thiem leads 4-2 overall and will be appearing in his third consecutive French quarter.
Zverev has won his last three matches from two sets to one down.
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