French Open 2019

'Old man' Federer eases into Q-finals

Switzerland's Roger Federer serving to Argentina's Leonardo Mayer in their fourth-round French Open match. The former world No. 1 won 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 without having to face a break point from his 68th-ranked opponent.
Switzerland's Roger Federer serving to Argentina's Leonardo Mayer in their fourth-round French Open match. The former world No. 1 won 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 without having to face a break point from his 68th-ranked opponent.PHOTO: REUTERS

Swiss star is oldest to reach Grand Slam last 8 since Connors in 1991; Nadal also progresses

PARIS • Roger Federer yesterday made short work of Leonardo Mayer to become the oldest man in 28 years to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final since Jimmy Connors did so at the 1991 US Open at the age of 39.

The 37-year-old, playing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, hardly broke a sweat despite the sweltering 32 deg C temperature, claiming a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 fourth-round win over his 68th-ranked Argentinian opponent.

The 2009 French Open champion will now face either rising Greek talent Stefanos Tsitsipas or close friend and fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the last eight.

Federer, a 20-time major winner, said: "It's fabulous that I can spend this time in Paris.

"I was prepared for the worst scenario, losing in the first round in three sets. But I am super happy with my performance. I enjoy playing here a lot. I served very well.

"I will need to play like this again against either Stan or Tsitsipas."

The former world No. 1, who will be playing in his 54th quarter-final in a major, cemented his place on top of the all-time men's list with a consummate display during which he did not have to face a break point on Court Philippe Chatrier.

  • At least five women will be making their maiden French Open quarter-final appearances this year, the first time this has happened since 2001.

Meanwhile, defending champion Rafael Nadal won his 90th match at Roland Garros yesterday as he stormed into the quarter-finals for the 13th time.

Nadal, bidding for a 12th title at the tournament, swept past Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

In what will be his 38th Grand Slam quarter-final appearance, the 32-year-old Spaniard will face either Japan's Kei Nishikori or Benoit Paire of France for a semi-final place.

Nadal has been defeated only twice in his French Open career and the 78th-ranked Londero never looked like becoming the third.

In a wide-open women's draw after the shock exits of Japanese top seed Naomi Osaka and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova reached her maiden major quarter-final by thrashing Anastasija Sevastova.

The unseeded Czech, ranked 38th, overcame a tame effort from the Latvian 12th seed, winning 6-2, 6-0 in only 59 minutes.

Claiming she was "happy with her game", the world No. 38 expressed surprise at her run, saying: "You can't expect you're going to play quarter-finals in a Grand Slam, but I played some tough matches."

She will face 31st seed Petra Martic for a semi-final spot, after the Croat followed up her third-round upset of Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova by coming from a set down to beat Estonia's Kaia Kanepi.

The 28-year-old booked her place in the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 victory, recovering breaks of serve in both the second and third sets.

British No. 1 Johanna Konta also continued her progress by seeing off Croatia's Donna Vekic 6-2, 6-4 to reach her first quarter-final at a major since Wimbledon in 2017. The last British woman to reach the final eight in Paris was Jo Durie in 1983.

At least five women will reach their first French Open quarter-final this year, the first time that has happened since 2001.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2019, with the headline ''Old man' Federer eases into Q-finals'. Print Edition | Subscribe