SPORT

Gulbis makes history

SURPRISE WINNER: Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis surprised himself as much as he did others with his quarterfinal entry at Roland Garros. Here he plays a return against Michael Llodra.

SURPRISE WINNER: Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis surprised himself as much as he did others with his quarterfinal entry at Roland Garros. Here he plays a return against Michael Llodra.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: AP

Forgettable day for Leander Paes

PARIS: Ernests Gulbis, the only Latvian to play in a Grand Slam tournament, reached the French Open quarterfinals for the first time on Sunday beating France’s Michael Llodra 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3.

Gulbis’s best Grand Slam performance before this year’s Roland Garros had been a fourth round run at the 2007 U.S. Open.

In Paris, he has already defeated American seventh seed James Blake and his victories so far are guaranteed to lift his ranking from 80 in the world into the 60s at least.

But he would not have started as favourite on Sunday having lost both his previous matches to the left-handed Llodra, his senior by nine years.

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic too entered the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win over Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Broken strings

In women’s singles action, nursing a sore shoulder, Jelena Jankovic won one point with broken strings, another after falling down and the last one despite blowing a big lead. Ana Ivanovic had a much easier time, winning every game.

In succession, the Serbs advanced on Sunday to the quarterfinals.

The No. 3-seeded Jankovic twice received treatment on her shoulder, lost four consecutive games after reaching match point and still managed to beat No. 14 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 7-6 (3).

The No. 2-seeded Ivanovic, the runner-up at Roland Garros last year, returned to the quarterfinals with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Petra Cetkovska.

Jankovic and Ivanovic are one round from an all-Serb showdown in the semifinals.

No. 26 Flavia Pennetta, who beat Venus Williams on Friday, lost to qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-2.

The 19-year-old Suarez Navarro is the first qualifier to reach the women’s quarterfinals since Petra Mandula in 2001.

Double blow

Leander Paes and his Czech Partner Lukas Dlouhy crashed out of the men’s doubles competition after losing 4-6 4-6 at the hands of Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay and Luis Horna of Peru in the pre-quarterfinals.

Nothing went right for the ninth seeded Indo-Czech duo and they were rusty throughout the 64-minute contest.

They were second best in serve and could not hold on their own in the rallies. In the mixed doubles, Mahesh Bhupathi and Jie Zheng of China defeated Paes and Nadia Petrova of Russia 7-5, 6-4 in a first round contest. — Agencies

THE RESULTS

Prefix denotes seeding



Men: Fourth round: 2-Rafael Nadal (Esp) bt 22-Fernando Verdasco (Esp) 6-1, 6-0, 6-2; 19-Nicolas Almagro (Esp) bt Jeremy Chardy (Fra) 7-6(0), 7-6(7), 7-5; Ernests Gulbis (Lat) bt Michael Llodra (Fra) 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3; 3-Novak Djokovic (Ser) bt 18-Paul-Henri Mathieu (Fra) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

Third round: Julien Benneteau (Fra) bt Robin Soderling (Swe) 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-0, 6-1.

Women: Fourth round: 2-Ana Ivanovic (Srb) bt Petra Cetkovska (Cze) 6-0, 6-0; Carla Suarez Navarro (Esp) bt 26-Flavia Pennetta (Ita) 6-3, 6-2; 3-Jelena Jankovic (Srb) bt 14-Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) 6-3, 7-6(3).

Third round: Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt 12-Agnes Szavay (Hun) 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2.

Doubles: Men: Third round: Pablo Cuevas (Uru) and Luis Horna (Per) bt Lukas Dlouhy (Cze) and 9-Leander Paes (Ind) 6-4, 6-4.

Junior Singles: Boys: (first round): Guillaume Rufin (Fra) bt 4-Yuki Bhambri (Ind) 6-2, 6-1.

Recommended for you