Tennis: Czech teen Vondrousova and Croat Martic reach first Slam quarters at French Open, Konta also through

Marketa Vondrousova (above) plays Anastasija Sevastova during the women’s round of 16 match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris on June 2, 2019.
Marketa Vondrousova (above) plays Anastasija Sevastova during the women’s round of 16 match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris on June 2, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (DPA, AFP, REUTERS) - Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova stormed into her first career Grand Slam tennis quarter-final on Sunday (June 2), with a 6-2, 6-0 thumping of Latvian 12th seed Anastasija Sevastova at the French Open.

The 19-year-old raced into a 3-0 lead, then had a slight hiccup by dropping two games after a medical break to treat what appeared to be blisters on her fingers, but swiftly regained her momentum in sweltering conditions on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Sevastova, who had outlasted Elise Mertens 11-9 in the final set on Friday, never got on the scoreboard again as the leftie Vondrousova clinched victory in 59 minutes with a forehand winner.

"She is very tough opponents. I played my best tennis today," Vondrousova said on court. "I am really in love with this place."

Johanna Konta, meanwhile, proved that she had found her comfort zone on Roland Garros' red clay as she surged to a 6-2, 6-4 win over Donna Vekic to become the first British woman to reach the quarter-finals in 36 years.

Konta, who before this year had never won a match at the clay-court major in four previous appearances, struck 33 winners, including seven aces to dispatch the 23rd-seeded Croatian on the hottest day of the tournament so far, with temperatures set to rise to as high as 31 deg C. Vekic was broken five times.

Vondrousova, who won a junior doubles title in Paris and made her senior Grand Slam debut there two years ago, is yet to drop a set in her run to the last eight, where she meets Croat Petra Martic.

The 31st seed also reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 win over Estonia's Kaia Kanepi.

Martic, 28, had lost all of her previous last-16 matches at the majors including twice in Paris.

But on Sunday, she came back from breaks down in the second and third sets. Martic had knocked out second seed Karolina Pliskova in the third round.

Vondrousova is ranked 38th and has beaten title holder Simona Halep twice this season, including last month in Rome where she reached the quarter-finals, just as at Indian Wells and Miami. She also was a finalist in Istanbul.

The last British woman to reach the Paris quarters was Jo Durie in 1983. She eventually lost in the semis.

Although Konta and Vekic had split their previous six encounters, including an epic clash in the second round of Wimbledon in 2017 that lasted more than three hours, this was their first meeting on clay.

After three straight breaks of serve, Konta was the first to hold, going up 3-1. With Vekic struggling to land a first serve in, Konta went up a double break for 5-2.

Serving for the first set, the Briton saved four break points before taking it with her third ace. After swopping breaks early in the second set, a drop shot handed Konta another break. She held serve to love clinch the match in 84 minutes.

Konta will play either last year's finalist and 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens, or twice Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza for a spot in the semi-finals.

On the men's side, 11-time winner Rafael Nadal and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer face Argentinian opponents in back-to-back centre-court matches in Juan Ignacio Londero and Leonardo Mayer.

There is also what promises a tasty meeting between 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka and rising Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.