Qualifier Altmaier Reaches French Open Fourth Round, Djokovic, Kenin Advance Easily
(October 3, 2020) The qualifiers are making a statement at the 2020 edition of Roland Garros, Daniel Altmaier, a German 22-year-old upset seventh-seeded Matteo Berrettini to reach the fourth round with a 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory.
The world No. 186, playing in his first French Open joins two other qualifiers making a debut in Sebastian Korda and Jannik Sinner. Add in Nadia Podoroska from Argentina and Italy’s Martina Trevisan in the women’s tournament and that’s five qualifiers into the second week of a major for the first time.
“Yes, for me personally tennis is doing a big change at the moment. I was feeling this already on the challenger tour, even future tour. Literally everyone can beat everyone at the moment,” said the winner. “Physically everybody is getting stronger. Tennis-wise players are playing smarter, more disciplined. You can see this by following the last Grand Slams. Especially here in Roland Garros, the tennis really changed after this corona break. Yeah, I’m happy to be one of them who is showing, let’s say, his skills at the moment. Also others are doing fantastic in this. It’s just I think very healthy and helping tennis hugely to see new faces, to see tough battles by unknown players.”
“It’s my first time on this court and playing in Paris, I’m delighted to be in the fourth round,” said Altmaier, in an on-court interview. “My coach and I have been working so hard to be here, and while I’ve struggled with a few injuries, I am super-pleased it’s at Roland Garros. Before qualifying, I was struggling with an injury, so I wasn’t sure I was going to play. I hope the crowd and the TV audience enjoyed watching, as I want to entertain.”
“Personally I was always believing I can be here, I can perform good, I can play well and beat those guys,” he said in his news conference. I played now. So for me personally I was working really hard with my team to be in this position, to feel stable, to really, yeah, play well and compete against the top guys of the game.”
Altmaier will take on 17th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the next round. He beat Spanish countryman He beat fellow Spaniard and 10th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
No. 1 Novak Djokovic made quick work of Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia with a 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 win in about two hours. The Serb will take on Karen Khachanov for a place in the quarterfinals. His victory equals the Open Era record for most consecutive fourth round appearances of 11 held by both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. It was also his 71st match win at Roland Garros, only second to Nadal. The match had a slight delay due to rain and the roof closing on Court Philippe Chatrier
Strong words from Novak Djokovic on line judges.
“Then I would also probably then have less chances to do what I did in New York (smiling).” pic.twitter.com/QpJ0dxdWuH
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) October 3, 2020
Sofia Kenin beat qualifier Irina Bara, playing her first major winning 6-2, 6-0 winning the last 12 straight games. Kenin is into the fourth round.
“I just wanted to just try to start off well and finish off really well,” Kenin told media. “But of course, towards the end I just started getting a little bit careless. I started like doing dropshots towards the end, like just for fun. I was like, Why not? Let’s just do dropshots. But then she obviously picked up her game. Yeah, it’s nice getting like 12 games in a row, I have to admit.”
The American has reached the fourth round of all of the majors played this year.
“I mean of course, Australia was the best. Unless I win the French, then it would be the second best. But yeah, I feel like I’m playing well at the slams. Obviously I feel like I should get deep in a tournament. I’m a bit hard on myself. It’s a little bit different mindset now coming into the slams. Of course, each match is a match, and I’m really happy with winning every match. It’s not easy, everyone is playing best tennis at the Grand Slam. But I definitely feel like I should get deep in a tournament. And I’m really hoping that I can do well in the fourth round, yeah, just for the next round.”
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova rallied from 1-5 down in the first set and won nine straight games to turn things around against young Canadian Leylah Fernandez 7-5, 6-3 in a third-round match between southpaws. The Czech has not dropped a set yet in the tournament.
The seventh seed Kvitova will play Zhang Shuai in the fourth round. Zhang is China’s first player into the final 16 in Paris since Li Na in 2012.
No. 5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the fourth round at the French Open when his opponent Aljaz Bedene retired in the third set because of an injured right ankle with the Greek up 6-1, 6-2, 3-1.
Tsitsipas will take on No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the final 8.
Bulgaria’s Dimitrov moved into the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time in 10 tries when Roberto Carballes Baena retired from the match with a stomach virus. Dimitrov was leading 6-1, 6-3.
Also advancing to play each other next were No. 13 seed Andrey Rublev and world No. 63 Hungarian Marton Fucsovics also reached the fourth round.
No. 30 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia became the first Arab woman to reach the fourth round of the French Open, toppling No. 8 seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6 (7), 2-6, 6-3.
“Tough, tough match. I mean, she really hits hard,” said Jabeur. “She’s such an aggressive player. Actually she didn’t give me a lot of opportunities, especially in the second set.”
“I’m so happy that that game really worked today.”
Jabeur said that calmness was the key to her win on Saturday. “Well, today was staying calm, to be honest. She was screaming, like fighting every point, screaming in some very important points. Especially when she got back at 6-6. For me, I wanted to stay calm because I had no reason to be angry. I think that helped me a lot today. In the other matches I just wanted to play my game, like really enjoy on clay. Today obviously the match was even harder. Tomorrow it’s going to be also. I mean, after tomorrow is also going to be harder. I like how I play. I like how I mix it up. Obviously I’m going to continue doing that. Hope the dropshot will always help me.”
Jabeur’s next challenger with be Danielle Collins. “I played against Muguruza in Hobart this year. It was kind of a tough match. If I play her, then I’m probably going for my revenge. Maybe playing on clay will be better for me. I like the way I’m playing right now, mix it up, doing all the stuff I want to do. Collins, I never played against her. She’s a tough player.”
Collins rallied from 3-0 down in the decider to beat 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.
Former French Open girls’ singles champion qualifier Paula Badosa beat 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-3 to reach the fourth-round of Roland Garros on Saturday.
Laura Siegemund came from a set down to stun No. 13 seed Petra Martic 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0 to reach the second week of a major for the first time.
The German will take on Spanish qualifier Paula Badosa for a spot in the quarterfinals.
“Was very tactic match,” said the German. “Yeah, she’s a very specific player. I haven’t played her in a long time.”
“I had my chances. I had a really good start in the first set. I feel I should have done much more out of that set. I kind of left some, you know, chances there also to not make the 3-All, you know, but to go further ahead. And then in the end, you know, it was a good match I think. You can lose that first set in the tiebreaker, was close then, but I felt like, that was a bit unnecessary. But, you know, it happens. I tried to stay composed and had some problems with serving at the end of the second set, so was focusing on fixing that. And then, yeah, I knew I had to find solutions for returning better. You know, I had better ideas in the second set and was able to continue that throughout the third also.”