Stephens, Zverev, Madison & Thiem storms into French Open quarter-final


PARIS, June 3: US Open champion Sloane Stephens reached her first Roland Garros quarter-final on Sunday, beating Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-0.
Stephens, the 10th seed, had previously made the fourth round for four successive seasons.
She will face either Australian Open champion and second seed Caroline Wozniacki or Russia’s Daria Kasatkina for a place in the semi-finals.
A clearly hobbled Kontaveit hit just five winners but 21 unforced errors in the 52-minute mismatch.
German second seed Alexander Zverev claimed this third successive comeback win at the French Open to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final on Sunday, edging Russian Karen Khachanov in five sets.
The 21-year-old played some stunning tennis in the closing stages of a dramatic 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 fourth-round victory and will next face Dominic Thiem who reached a third successive quarter-final in Paris by seeing off Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.
World number 38 Khachanov has now lost at the last-16 stage at Roland Garros twice in a row, while Zverev ended his wait for a maiden major last-eight appearance at the 12th attempt.
“Well, I’m young, so I might as well stay on court, get some practice and entertain you guys,” smiled Zverev, who is bidding to become the first German man to win the French Open since 1937.
“Me and my brother are guys that spend three, four hours a day in the gym, lifting heavy weights, on the treadmill. It paid off today.”
American Madison Keys blazed into the French Open quarter-finals for the first time in her career with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu on Sunday.
The 13th seed admitted in the build-up that she had never watched Buzarnescu in action but quickly got to grips with the unheralded 30-year-old who was playing in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Dominic Thiem ended Kei Nishikori’s comeback to reach the quarter-finals of the French Open with a 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 victory on Sunday and set up a mouthwatering clash with second seed Alexander Zverev.
The Austrian seventh seed, the last man to beat clay-court machine Rafa Nadal on his favourite surface, displayed an impressive arsenal of weapons in the first two sets before regaining his composure after the loss of the third. (AFP)