I don’t usually fancy Garbine Muguruza in these majors but I thought this was another great chance to add to her tally. How she has lost this to Danielle Collins, I am still not sure. The Spaniard even blew a double break lead in the decider. The mental weaknesses that have been on display before (but by no means all the time) were there for all to see. Collins was very patchy, there were spells of great shotmaking mixed in with some utter dross and that didn’t help Muguruza get into any rhythm. The truth is though she folded pretty tamely in the end. Collins will now play Ons Jabeur, the conditions really suiting the Tunisian’s heavy groundstrokes by all account.
Fiona Ferro is one of my only remaining bets in this event. She weathered a second set storm for the Romanian Patricia Maria Tig and played a fine third set. Tig started to get a bit too vocal at the end of the first set and as we know you don’t want to wind the Parisien crowd up. She actually levelled the match but admitted she had nothing left in the decider, getting bageled. Ferro will now play the fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin. Kenin won twelve games in a row from 0/2 but she still has been nowhere near her best. This was tighter than the scoreline suggests against another Romanian, Irina Bara.
Petra Kvitova came back from 1/5 in the first set against last years junior champion Leylah Fernandez. Fernandez played and moved very well but when Petra found her range the tide turned. It is the first time Kvitova has made the second week since 2012 in Paris. She will like her chances in a blow for blow contest against Shuai Zhang. Zhang beat the talented youngster Clara Burel in a close straight sets.
I said Jelena Ostapenko should go really well here now and that is probably why she lost next round to Paula Badosa. It sounds like the serve was all off and Badosa was just as steady as you like and it was enough. We have seen this from the Latvian before though. Petra Martic also lost, she got bageled in the decider by Laura Siegemund having been a set to the good.
There was another convincing win for Djokovic, this time against Daniel Galan. I saw that he said that ”If you impose yourself from the very beginning on the court, which I have in those first three matches here, then it makes it hard for them to really believe that they can come back and make a turnaround in the match.” That pretty much sums it all up. Karen Khachanov is next in line after his four-set win over Christian Garin, who had a hip problem during the match.
Pablo Carreno Busta played well once again, this time beating compatriot, Roberto Bautista Agut. PCB said recently that Nadal was the only player in better form than him. It is obviously a huge statement but it would be interesting to see how close he could get to Novak if they meet in the last eight. First, he will have to get past Daniel Altmaier. The 22-year-old is one of many players having a dream run in Paris. He was far too good for Matteo Berrettini who it’s fair to say had a bit of an off day. It is a name I used to see years ago when I was a tennis odds compiler. I seem to remember him tearing it up on the ITF scene, injuries have slowed down his progress but he looks a very good player. He wasn’t phased by playing on the Chatrier either.
Andrey Rublev continued his great season with a comfortable win over Kevin Anderson. You thought the South African was on borrowed time, after having a few good wins and this was a step up in quality. Marton Fucsovics is next for the Russian, who beat Thiago Monteiro a lot more comfortably than I thought he would.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Grigor Dimitrov both progressed via retirements, though both were as equally in control of the match at the time. Tsitsipas led by two sets and a break before an ankle injury caused Aljaz Bedene to retire. Dimitrov was two sets up against Roberto Carballes Baena before the Spaniard retired with illness. This should be the classic ‘nice match on the eye’ when the two meet tomorrow.
Andy Del Potro