Winds of change blow on day of upsets at French Open

Sunday quickly turned out to be a day of upsets in the women's draw at the French Open

Via AP news wire
Sunday 04 October 2020 12:56
France Tennis French Open
France Tennis French Open

On a Sunday of upsets at the French Open, revenge was a dish served up in an autumnal chill by a Polish teenager.

Against the player who humbled her 6-1, 6-0 at the same stage last year, Iga Swiatek turned the tables on top-seeded Simona Halep sending the 2018 champion packing 6-1, 6-2 with powerful groundstrokes and exquisite net play to advance to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Halep, who also lifted the title at Wimbledon last year, never got into her stride on Court Philippe Chatrier and was unable to exert any pressure on the 19-year-old who wilted with nerves in their fourth-round meeting last year that was over in just 45 minutes.

Halep lasted just 23 minutes longer this time. She never had a break point against her opponent who racked up 14 against her, breaking her twice in each set and keeping her serve under near-constant stress.

“She was everywhere,” said Halep, who had been on a career-best winning streak of 17 matches. “I will have a chocolate and I will be better tomorrow.”

Adding to a sense that winds of change are blowing across women's tennis at this French Open pushed back by the coronavirus from its usual May-June spot, Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan ousted fifth-seeded Kiki Bertens moments later, winning 6-4, 6-4 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

She tossed her racket in delight after sealing the victory with a backhand lob from the baseline that her Dutch foe, who'd been serving to stay in the match, could only watch as it soared over her head and plopped in.

Swiatek, the only teenager who reached the fourth round, and Trevisan, one of two qualifiers who got that far, will now play each other in what will be a first Grand Slam quarterfinal for them both.

The 159th-ranked Trevisan is playing only her second Grand Slam. She was a first-round loser at her first: the Australian Open this year.

Swiatek, who also reached the fourth round this year at Melbourne Park, has said that having recently passed her school exams, she now wants to fully focus on her tennis, to see whether she should make a career of it or head to university.

Based on the evidence so far on clay in Paris, the books can wait.

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