Paris, Jun 7 (EFE).- Both of the 2020 French Open men’s finalists, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, won their matches Monday to reach the quarterfinals, but the Spaniard had an easier time of it.
World No. 1 Djokovic needed more than three hours to overcome 19-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti 6-7(7), 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0.
The 34-year-old Serb needed to draw on all of skills and experience to win the third and fourth sets and take a commanding lead in the fifth before the youngster making his Grand Slam debut retired complaining of cramps and back pain.
Musetti’s compatriot Jannik Sinner, also 19, got off to a brilliant start against Nadal and was poised to take the first set until he made three unforced errors in succession.
The third-ranked Spaniard, in pursuit of his record-extending 14th French Open title, went on to win 7-5, 6-3, 6-0.
Next up for Nadal, 35, is Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, who has won only once in 11 lifetime matches against the Spanish great. He bested Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(9), 6-4, 7-5 to reach the last eight at Roland Garros for the third time.
Standing between Djokovic and the semifinals is Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who advanced to the quarters by default thanks to the withdrawal of Roger Federer.
Berrettini, currently ranked ninth, lost his only previous match against Djokovic.
On the women’s side, 2020 finalist Sofia Kenin of the United States was upset 6-1, 6-3 by Greece’s Maria Sakkari, who can look forward to the first quarterfinal appearance of her career.
The elimination of fourth-seed Kenin leaves defending champion Iga Swiatek as the only pre-tournament favorite still alive in this year’s competition.
Swiatek beat Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 6-4 on Monday. The Pole’s next opponent will be Sakkari.
Barbora Krejcikova, who ousted fifth seed Elina Svitolina in the third round, dispatched 2019 finalist Sloane Stephens of the US 6-2, 6-0 to reach the quarterfinals, where the unseeded Czech player will face 17-year-old American Coco Gauff, a 6-3, 6-1 winner Monday over Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur. EFE lmpg/dr