Serena Williams continues quest for twenty fourth Grand Slam title; Alexander Zverev makes final 16-Sports activities Information , Alenz

Serena Williams continues quest for twenty fourth Grand Slam title; Alexander Zverev makes final 16-Sports activities Information , Alenz

Stefanos Tsitsipas is well-fancied to succeed in his maiden Grand Slam remaining, with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer all within the different half of the draw.

French Open 2021: Serena Williams continues quest for 24th Grand Slam title; Alexander Zverev makes last 16

Serena Williams of the US returns the ball to Danielle Collins of the US throughout their ladies’s singles third spherical tennis match at 2021 French Open. AFP

Paris: Serena Williams continues her quest for a record-equalling twenty fourth Grand Slam title within the French Open third spherical on Friday because the highest-ranked participant left in her half of the draw, whereas Alexander Zverev cruised into the final 16 for the fourth straight yr.

World No 4 Aryna Sabalenka, who was the highest-seeded ladies’s participant nonetheless within the event, was dumped out by Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Friday’s early motion.

The Belarusian third seed, who has by no means reached a Grand Slam quarter-final, slumped to a 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 defeat.

The Thirty first-seeded Pavlyuchenkova will subsequent face Victoria Azarenka, with a possible quarter-final in opposition to Williams up for grabs.

Azarenka, who surprised Williams of their twenty third assembly in final yr’s US Open semi-finals, cruised previous Madison Keys 6-2, 6-2 to succeed in the Roland Garros fourth spherical for the primary time since making the final 4 in 2013.

The 39-year-old Williams had already seen yet one more of her potential title rivals exit the event on Thursday, when World No 1 Ashleigh Barty hobbled out in the course of the second spherical with a hip damage.

After Naomi Osaka’s shock withdrawal, Simona Halep failing to start out the event by damage and early losses for Bianca Andreescu and Angelique Kerber, not one of the gamers who’ve overwhelmed Williams in Grand Slam finals since her final title within the 2017 Australian Open are nonetheless within the competitors.

The previous World No 1, nonetheless only one wanting Margaret Court docket’s all-time file of main trophies, faces fellow American Danielle Collins for a last-16 berth.

Williams gained her solely earlier assembly with Collins, a Roland Garros quarter-finalist final yr and 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist, in Melbourne earlier this yr.

She says the pair hit it off off the court docket, but it surely’s unlikely the three-time French Open winner will take it straightforward on her pal on Court docket Philippe Chatrier.

“She (Collins) has been enjoying nicely,” mentioned Williams. “She’s additionally a very superior individual off the court docket. I like seeing her within the locker room.

“Ideally it will be nice if we did not need to play one another, as a result of I all the time need her to do tremendous nicely, so… It is effective, although.”

Zverev finds type 

German sixth seed Zverev wanted 5 units to beat unheralded compatriot Oscar Otte within the first spherical earlier than edging Russian qualifier Roman Safiullin in three tight units.

He cruised to a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 win over Laslo Djere on Friday, although, organising a last-16 conflict with former World No 4 Kei Nishikori.

“That is the primary purpose of my tennis profession, to win Grand Slams, to succeed in the highest of the rankings. I really feel just like the final yr I am heading in the right direction once more,” mentioned Zverev.

French Open 2021 Serena Williams continues quest for 24th Grand Slam title Alexander Zverev makes last 16

Zverev celebrates after successful in opposition to Laslo throughout their males’s singles third-round tennis match within the 2021 French Open. AFP

Nishikori reached the fourth spherical when opponent Henri Laaksonen retired injured after dropping the primary set.

The brief outing would have been a aid for Japan’s Nishikori, who spent greater than eight hours on court docket over the primary two rounds.

In-form Norwegian teen Casper Ruud was knocked out by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in a marathon match which lasted greater than four-and-a-half hours.

The Spaniard clinched victory in an dramatic remaining sport on his fifth match level, successful 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 7-6 (8/6), 0-6, 7-5 to safe a last-16 date with Argentina’s Federico Delbonis.

Tsitsipas eyes main breakthrough 

Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas is well-fancied to succeed in his maiden Grand Slam remaining, with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer all within the different half of the draw, and together with his activity made simpler by two-time runner-up Dominic Thiem’s shock first-round loss.

The fifth seed cruised by his opening two matches in straight units in opposition to Jeremy Chardy and Pedro Martinez, however ought to face a far more durable take a look at in Friday’s evening match in opposition to big-serving Isner.

The new and bouncy situations may play into the American Thirty first seed’s palms.

“I am certain he can serve nicely proper now,” admitted Tsitsipas, who has loved an excellent clay-court season, successful the Monte Carlo Masters, the ATP occasion in Lyon and reaching the Barcelona Open remaining, the place he misplaced to Nadal regardless of holding a match level.

The 22-year-old made the semi-finals final October earlier than shedding a five-set thriller to Djokovic.

Russian World No 2 Daniil Medvedev had by no means gained a French Open match till this week, however has discovered type this time round and faces the US’ Reilly Opelka on Court docket Suzanne Lenglen.

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