FRENCH OPEN: Nadal, Federer, Konta in OFs

Paris, Jun 2 (Agencies): | Publish Date: 6/3/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

Defending champion Rafael Nadal is through to the French Open quarterfinals after beating unseeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 in their first-ever meeting, while Roger Federer also reached the quarter-finals for the 12th time, becoming the oldest man in 28 years to make the last-eight of a Slam.

In women’s singles, British number one Johanna Konta continued her charge through the French Open by impressively beating Croatian 23rd seed Donna Vekic to reach the quarter-finals on Sunday.

With Londero serving to stay in the match, the second-seeded Nadal won on his first match point with a booming forehand winner.

In reaching his 38th quarterfinal at a major, Nadal moved ahead of Roy Emerson into fourth place on the all-time list. Roger Federer leads with 54.

Nadal is aiming for a record-extending 12th French Open title — which would be the most titles by a man or woman at any major.

The 32-year-old Spaniard next faces either seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan or unseeded Frenchman Benoit Paire.

Meanwhile, according to AFP, the 37-year-old eased past Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 and will face either close friend and Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka or Greek sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for a semi-final spot.

Federer, the 2009 champion in Paris, is the oldest man to make the quarter-finals of a Slam since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open.

Federer didn’t face a break point in the fourth round match against the outclassed world number 68 played in a sweltering 32 degrees on Court Philippe Chatrier.

According to BBC, Konta, seeded 26th, won 6-2 6-4 in baking conditions at Roland Garros.

She is hoping to emulate Jo Durie and become the first British woman to reach the semi-finals since 1983.

The 28-year-old will play 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza or Sloane Stephens - last year’s runner-up - next.

Spanish 19th seed Muguruza and American seventh seed Stephens were scheduled to meet on Court Philippe Chatrier later on Sunday.

“To be able to win a match like this against a tough opponent is a great feeling. I felt I played well throughout the match,” said Konta after reaching her first Grand Slam quarter-final since Wimbledon in 2017.

“To win like that in front of a crowd like that gives you goosebumps.”

Konta is enjoying a superb clay-court season, reaching WTA finals in Morocco and Rome, and has continued to build on that form in Paris with some assured performances.

She wrapped up victory over Vekic on the first of her three match points when the Croat hit long.


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