French Open: Breakthrough for Zverev, Wozniacki in trouble

Alexander Zverev made his long awaited first grand slam quarterfinal, and no one can say the German did it the easy w...

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 12:57 PM
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 12:57 PM

Alexander Zverev made his long awaited first grand slam quarterfinal, and no one can say the German did it the easy way. Indeed call him the French Open's marathon man.

But marathon woman Caroline Wozniacki -- she finished the New York City Marathon in 2014 -- trailed Daria Kasatkina 7-6 (7-5) 3-3 when darkness halted proceedings at around 9:20 p.m. Paris time.

Zverev beats Karen Khachanov 4-6 7-6 2-6 6-3 6-3

His third straight win in five sets

Caroline Wozniacki trailed Daria Kasatkina by a set

Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Madison Keys also through

For the third consecutive round, Zverev rallied from a 2-1 deficit in sets and this time it came against a friend from his junior days, Karen Khachanov.

It wasn't as dramatic as his previous tussle when the second seed saved a match point against Damir Dzhumhur, but the 21-year-old found himself in trouble in the fourth set Sunday prior to defeating the unseeded Russian 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-3 6-3.

He was joined in the men's quarterfinals by Dominic Thiem, his next opponent, and the rejuvenated Novak Djokovic.

At 2-2 in the fourth, Zverev saved two break points and then broke for 4-2 after Khachanov led 40-15 on serve.

When the match ended on court Suzanne-Lenglen, Zverev sunk to his knees with arms outstretched.

Asked later about finally achieving the last eight at a major -- he has won three Masters titles and makes regular appearances in quarterfinals at ATP events -- Zverev offered up a mixture of sarcasm and humor, which is nothing new.

"I'm very pi**ed off about it," he smiled. "I want to be home right now.

"I'm happy. But this is not the end. This is the quarterfinals."

Vows to be ready

Zverev has shown his mental toughness and physical stamina in reversing the deficits in Paris.

And in typical Zverev style, he vowed to be "ready" for his crunch clash with Thiem.

"I'm in the quarterfinals of a grand slam. If you're mentally fatigued, then something is wrong with you," said Zverev, the youngest men's quarterfinalist at the French Open since Juan Martin del Potro in 2009. "Physically, obviously it's not easy to play back to back to back five-set matches, but I will manage it somehow.

"I will make sure to be ready in two days' time."

Thiem has been even more impressive considering the opponents he encountered.

He overcame the dangerous Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets in the second round, for example, and passed an even more difficult test Sunday from Kei Nishikori.

The Austrian blew the Monte Carlo finalist away in the first two sets, lost the third, but came through 6-2 6-0 5-7 6-4 to land in a third consecutive Roland Garros quarterfinal.

Thiem stumbled in the Madrid Masters final to Zverev last month, though given the stage, their respective forms and the latter's time spent on court, the seventh seed goes in as favorite.

"I think it's the matchup most of the fans in Germany and Austria were hoping for when they saw the draw," said Thiem.

Most neutrals, too.

'Great step'

Thiem is keen to progress even further and to a maiden French Open final after being convincingly knocked out in the semifinals the previous two seasons by Djokovic and Sunday's birthday boy Rafael Nadal.

"I think for me it's time to move on to make a great step, because I'm turning 25" in September, said Thiem. "I'm not that young anymore. That's (Zverev's) part. He's only 21."

Wozniacki is a tour veteran at 27 and to her delight, won't ever be asked again when she'll win a first major after breaking through at the Australian Open in January. Hard courts certainly are to the world No. 2's liking, with clay bringing less success. Wozniacki did however make the quarterfinals last year in Paris prior to losing to the eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Kasatkina doesn't possess Ostapenko's power but she owns a varied game with her share of power and spin.

The bubbly 21-year-old made the biggest final of her career in Indian Wells in March, beating Wozniacki en route. Sunday evening she rallied from 5-3 down in the first set, which lasted 68 minutes.

Both players wanted play suspended as light faded just after 9 p.m. but were told to continue by tournament officials, to the crowd's delight. Twenty more minutes elapsed before the duo went off.

Djokovic eased past Fernando Verdasco 6-3 6-4 6-2, although the early stages on Philippe-Chatrier court suggested a lengthy battle. The first three games lasted close to 30 minutes.

The 12-time grand slam winner's next challenger isn't David Goffin but rather Marco Cecchinato, who upset the ailing eighth-seed 7-5 4-6 6-0 6-3 after losing to the Belgian last month.

On Saturday, Goffin saved four match points to complete a draining victory over Gael Monfils.

Cecchinato -- who trailed by two sets in his opener -- has enjoyed quite the rise since the end of April, when he won the Budapest title as a lucky loser to help his ranking rise to its current 72nd.

Two years ago Cecchinato was cleared of match fixing after initially being given an 18-month ban by Italy's tennis federation.

Grand slam quarterfinal sweep

Americans Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens have now advanced to the quarterfinals at all four majors after their comfortable wins over Mihaela Buzarnescu and Anett Kontaveit, respectively.

Keys prevailed 6-1 6-4 and hasn't dropped a set on the surface she finds the most challenging.

Having escaped Saturday -- 8-6 in the third set over Camila Giorgi -- Stephens had a surprisingly simpler time in the fourth round, easing past 25th-seed Kontaveit 6-2 6-0. Kontaveit upset Petra Kvitova on Saturday and flourished ahead of Roland Garros.

Stephens -- who plays either Wozniacki or Kasatkina on Tuesday -- snapped an 0-for-4 skid in French Open fourth rounds.

Keys said she was looking forward to Monday's blockbuster between Maria Sharapova -- they share the same agent, Max Eisenbud -- and Serena Williams.

Williams leads the series 19-2.

READ: Serena slams 'hearsay' book

Visit CNN.com/tennis for more news, features and videos

"I'm obviously a tennis fan just like everyone else, so I think I'm just as excited to see that match," said Keys.

Nadal, meanwhile, is bidding for yet another win at Roland Garros.

A straight-set win over Germany's Maximilian Marterer and the 10-time champion would make it 37 straight sets in southwest Paris.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36578

Reported Deaths: 2258
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10188604
Lake3876207
Allen181071
Cass15919
Elkhart158528
St. Joseph135838
Hendricks120478
Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
Porter56233
Clark53942
Bartholomew53139
LaPorte44824
Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
Jackson4012
Delaware39741
Shelby39722
Hancock35427
Boone32436
Floyd31941
Vanderburgh2913
Morgan28626
Noble27821
Montgomery24917
Clinton2471
White2399
Decatur23132
Grant22923
Dubois2113
Kosciusko2052
Harrison19622
Marshall1872
Henry18512
Vigo1828
Greene17226
Dearborn17122
Monroe17113
Lawrence17124
Warrick16729
Miami1461
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
LaGrange1282
Scott1263
Franklin1168
Ripley1086
Daviess10416
Carroll952
Wayne906
Steuben902
Wabash812
Newton8010
Fayette797
Jasper741
Jay580
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Fulton511
Washington501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb451
Starke423
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Wells350
Owen341
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford250
Adams231
Switzerland220
Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
Unassigned0180

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37758

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin6323295
Cuyahoga4789265
Hamilton2811171
Marion268832
Lucas2329263
Pickaway209938
Summit1529181
Mahoning1486191
Butler97532
Columbiana89453
Stark803102
Montgomery73417
Lorain73061
Trumbull60052
Belmont44915
Warren40721
Medina37624
Tuscarawas3714
Ashtabula36938
Miami36730
Delaware36014
Portage33557
Lake32512
Clark3237
Fairfield3188
Wood30649
Geauga30334
Wayne29651
Licking27110
Mercer2278
Richland2224
Allen22133
Clermont2195
Darke19023
Erie18416
Madison1647
Washington11819
Crawford1184
Morrow1081
Ottawa10717
Greene1065
Putnam9514
Sandusky9112
Monroe8015
Auglaize773
Hardin730
Ross732
Hocking705
Jefferson672
Huron611
Williams581
Holmes573
Union561
Muskingum561
Hancock531
Coshocton480
Wyandot482
Clinton471
Shelby473
Fulton450
Logan430
Fayette410
Preble391
Guernsey382
Carroll353
Defiance342
Brown311
Lawrence301
Highland291
Champaign281
Seneca262
Knox251
Ashland230
Vinton212
Perry191
Athens181
Scioto180
Henry170
Jackson150
Paulding140
Adams111
Harrison100
Pike90
Gallia81
Van Wert70
Meigs60
Noble60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
Angola
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 59°
Huntington
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 58°
Decatur
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Van Wert
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Sunny Sunday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events