Veteran and a teen behind major French Open upsets

Marin Cilic of Croatia beat Daniil Medvedev during the fourth round at Roland Garros.

Marin Cilic of Croatia beat Daniil Medvedev during the fourth round at Roland Garros. Photo: Getty

Two men at either end of their careers have caused huge upsets in the quarter-finals of the French Open knocking out World No.2 Daniil Medvedev and No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Danish teenager Holger Rune beat Stefanos Tsitsipas, last year’s finalist, 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-4 to move into a last eight tie with fellow Scandinavian Casper Ruud, of Norway.

Marin Cilic, the 33-year-old veteran, swatted Medvedev aside in straight sets, 6-2 6-3 6-2. It was the current US Open champion’s heaviest defeat in a grand slam.

He will face Russia’s Andrey Rublev, who was leading Jannik Sinner 1-6 6-4 2-0 when the Italian was forced to retire with a leg injury.

Those two results prevented what would have been a clean sweep of top eight seeds in the last eight.

Dane Rune, who has improved more than 350 places in the world rankings in the past 15 months, joins fellow 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, seeded six, in the last eight.

It is the first time two teenagers have made that stage at a grand slam since 1994.

“I have an unbelievable feeling. I was so nervous in the end,” said a beaming Rune, playing in his first French Open. “I was very nervous. I told myself to keep at it and play my plan. I mean it is so great to still be here.”

Cilic, who took just 105 minutes to defeat Medvedev, who he had never beaten before, said: “It was a fantastic match from the first point until the last. It was one of the best matches of my career.

Cilic, who has reached three grand slam finals, winning the US Open in 2014, added: “When I am playing my best tennis everything is working, serve, return, movement. Against guys like Daniil you have to sustain that so I was really focussed to keep going and am extremely pleased.”

Ruud reached the first grand slam quarter-final of his career by beating Hubert Hurkacz 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-3.

“It feels great, it was one of my goals this year [to reach a grand slam quarter-final]. I feel more experienced playing best of five sets,” said Ruud, the first Norwegian to reach the last eight at Roland Garros.

“To make my first quarter-final here in Roland Garros means a lot. It’s the first grand slam that I visited as a kid,” he added.

Sinner won the opening set 6-1 against Rublev before having treatment on his left knee in the second, which he lost 6-4.

“I felt good or quite ok in the first set and after serving at 2-1 (in the second) I felt something from that point,” Sinner said.

“I felt it too much. I was hoping it would go away. It didn’t, so playing like this, unfortunately, was not the right thing to do,” he added.

Tuesday’s quarter-final between world No.1 Novak Djokovic and 13-time champion Rafa Nadal has been scheduled to be played at night despite the Spaniard expressing reservations against it.

The night session, for which Amazon Prime has exclusive broadcasting rights in France, starts at 9pm (local time) and was introduced for the first time at the 2021 edition of the claycourt major.

“I don’t like night sessions on clay. I am very clear with that,” said Nadal.

“I don’t like to play on clay during the night because humidity is higher, the ball is slower and there can be very heavy conditions especially when it’s cold.”


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