Simona Halep put the hurt on young 18-year-old Iga Swiatek today on Chatrier pounding the Pole 6-1, 6-0 in just 45 minutes, the shortest match so far.
“I expected a very tough one,” Halep said. “So I was ready for that, but it was much better than I thought.
“I played my best tennis,” she added. “I prefer to play like that. But [Swiatek] needs many matches on those courts. She needs time. But for sure she will be high because at [age] 18, if you’re playing fourth round of a Grand Slam, that means a lot. So she will be all right after this.”
Swiatek, a promising heir apparent to Aga Radwanska, was overwhelmed by the occasion.
Halep, who has now her last 11 matches in Paris, now meets another teen, 18-year-old Amanda Anisimova. The American blew out qualifier Aliona Bolsova 6-3, 6-0 on Court Simonne Mathieu to reach her first career Slam quarterfinal.
Earlier in the day while the skies were dark and damp, Madison Keys reached her second straight French quarter beating up on Naomi Osaka’s conqueror Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-4.
“It’s always a special and stressful experience every single time,” Keys said of being in a week two at a Slam. “I’m happy that I’ve gotten through to fourth rounds and quarterfinals now a couple times now. But it never, never feels routine.”
Keys will now meet Ash Barty who advanced to her first French quarter after a win over Sofia Kenin 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.
“Sofia served particularly well, especially early in the second set,” said Barty. “I didn’t really get too many looks at second serves until that game up 5-3, but I felt that was a really important game to try and get a little bit of momentum going into the third. And then tactically in the third set, I was much smarter and sharper out there.”
Barty also made the quarters in Melbourne as she continues to improve and climb the rankings.
“I think that’s probably what I’ve been doing best over the last 12 to 18 months. And it’s put me in better positions. I’m in these positions now because I’m doing that better.”
She also talked about the match-up with Keys on Wednesday.
“I played [Madison] here at the French Open a few years ago in a match I would love to forget,” Barty said. “So I think it’s very much a fresh, clean slate from this match, at Fed Cup that we had as well. Different surface. I mean, as different as you can probably get, indoor hard to an outdoor clay court.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity for me to go out there and try and play my brand of tennis again, and take it to her as much as I can. She’s obviously had really good success here in the past.”
On tap Tuesday, the quarterfinals begin with 2018 finalist Sloane Stephens facing a resurgent Johanna Konta who beat the American in Rome. And we’ll see a new Slam semifinalist as 19-year-old lefty Marketa Vondrousova faces Petra Martic of Croatia.
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