Tennis

French Open: Federer reaches fourth round, Pliskova crashes out

Comfortable: Petra Martic beat second seed Karolina Pliskova in straight sets and matched her best performance by reaching the last 16.

Comfortable: Petra Martic beat second seed Karolina Pliskova in straight sets and matched her best performance by reaching the last 16.

Roger Federer became the oldest man to reach the Roland Garros fourth round in 47 years on Friday by winning his record 400th Grand Slam match in straight sets against Norwegian Casper Ruud, while women’s second seed Karolina Pliskova was dumped out.

The 37-year-old Federer saw off 63rd-ranked Ruud 6-3, 6-1, 7-6(8) on Court Suzanne Lenglen despite an action-packed fourth set.

It is the 14th time the 20-time Grand Slam champion has reached the second week in Paris.

“It was hard to find weaknesses in his game, so I’m relieved, I’m now going to have a good shower and it’s going to be great,” said the 2009 winner, who hit 52 winners and served 11 aces past Ruud, whose father Christian played the 1999 French Open when Federer made his debut. “It was a nice match to play in.”

Federer is the oldest man to book a last-16 place since Tunisian-born Italian Nicola Pietrangeli, a two-time champion, at the age of 38 in 1972.

Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori battled into the fourth round for the fifth successive year with a marathon 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3, 4-6, 8-6 win over Serbia’s Laslo Djere.

Blaze of errors

Pliskova exited in a blaze of unforced errors on Court Philippe Chatrier as she was comfortably dismissed 6-3, 6-3 by Croatia’s Petra Martic.

The 31st-seeded Martic will face Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi for a place in her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinals.

Pliskova’s defeat means Naomi Osaka will retain the World No. 1 spot after Roland Garros.

Pliskova was considered one of the favourites after winning the Italian Open in Rome, but said Roland Garros’ premier court did not play to her strengths.

“I think the court is pretty slow, so you just have to play some extra shots,” said the former World No. 1, who is yet to win a Grand Slam title.

Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 champion, made short work of Ukrainian Elina Svitolina as the ninth seed’s disappointing clay season ended on a low note.

Muguruza eased to a 6-3, 6-3 victory on Chatrier to reach the fourth round for the sixth successive year.

In the men’s doubles, Rohan Bopanna and his Romanian partner Marius Copil advanced to the third round after notching up a 6-4, 6-4 win over Benjamin Bonzi and Antoine Hoang.

However, Divij Sharan and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Demoliner made an early exit, losing in straight sets.

Up against eighth seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers, the unseeded Indo-Brazilian pair lost 3-6, 4-6.


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 9:40:25 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/french-open-federer-reaches-fourth-round-pliskova-crashes-out/article27394136.ece