Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Djokovic, Nadal on course for French Open semi-final collision

Djokovic, Nadal on course for French Open semi-final collision

Thiem is looking to take the next step and win his first Grand Slam title, but he'll have his hands full with Djokovic on Tuesday.

Fourth seed Nadal coasted to the most one-sided win of his Roland Garros career as his 63rd-ranked opponent, playing his first match on Philippe Chatrier Court, was struck down by stage fright.

No French woman has won the title since Mary Pierce in 2000.

The Swede told Reuters in an interview that it was the best thing that could have happened to a tournament missing the pregnant Serena Williams and the not-invited Maria Sharapova.

How right those folks were.

Croatia's Martic, a former top 50 player whose ranking slumped after a back injury sidelined her for 10 months, will face either Ukraine's Elina Svitolina or Magda Linette of Poland for a place in the quarter-finals. Mladenovic often played to the fans, waving her arms to ask for more noise.

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It was the first third-round meeting between two Asian players at Roland Garros, with 21-year-old Chung conceding that Saturday's weather delay arrived at an inopportune time. Her best French Open showing was in 2002, when she lost to her sister Serena in the final. In reply, Mladenovic coughed up no fewer than 16 double faults, but her defence was robust and her forehand was a weapon throughout.

But the Spaniard has been repeatedly answering questions recently about whether expectations are different now that she is a major champion and whether that sort of pressure might affect her on court.

The nine-time champion matched Roger Federer's Open era record for appearances in the last eight at Roland Garros. "That helps me a lot".

"If you had been in my shoes on the court, I think you would have understood". And we're in the quarterfinals.

Earlier, women's defending champion, Garbine Muguruza, and seven-time Grand Slam victor Venus Williams crash out of the French Open, meaning a new major singles champion will be crowned at Roland Garros.

Muguruza is seeded No. 5, Mladenovic No. 13.

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American Williams, the 2002 champion, was beaten 5-7 6-2 6-1 by Swiss 30th seed Timea Bacsinszky.

Isner was the last US man in the draw of 11 who entered the tournament. Her best French Open showing was in 2002, when she lost to Serena in the final.

Nadal now has a 76-2 win-loss record at Roland Garros with his only defeats coming against Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and Djokovic in the 2015 quarter-finals. Nadal produced some breathtaking tennis all through the match as he decimated Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

After today, week one of the 2017 French Open will be done and after tomorrow the men's quarterfinals will be set.

His reward is a date with another fellow Spaniard and good friend Pablo Carreno Busta, who battled past Milos Raonic 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (6), 6-4, 8-6 in four hours and 17 minutes on Sunday to reach his first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal.

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