Teenage dreams for Sinner and Swiatek; Nadal through

PARIS: Teenagers Jannik Sinner and Iga Swiatek sent shockwaves through Roland Garros on Sunday, reaching their maiden Grand Slam quarterfinals, as 12-time champion Rafael Nadal breezed into the last eight for the 14th time.
Italy’s Sinner, 19 and ranked 75, defeated sixth seed Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to become the youngest men’s Grand Slam quarterfinalist since Novak Djokovic in Paris in 2006.
His reward is a clash with Nadal who defeated American qualifier Sebastian Korda 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 to stay comfortably on course for a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam crown.
It was Nadal’s 97th win at the tournament against just two defeats since his title-winning debut in 2005.
World number 54 Swiatek, also 19, shocked top seed and title favourite Simona Halep 6-1, 6-2.
In a tournament turned upside down by the coronavirus, which meant a four-month delay and with a crowd capacity of just 1,000 a day, it was fitting that further shock wins were delivered by qualifiers.
Italy’s Martina Trevisan, ranked at 159, and 131st-ranked Nadia Podoroska of Argentina, also made the quarterfinals with wins over fifth seed Kiki Bertens and Barbora Krejcikova respectively.
Sinner is first player to reach the last eight on his Roland Garros debut since Nadal lifted the trophy in 2005.
“Today was very tough knowing that it’s going to be a long match but in the end I’m very happy about my performance,” said Sinner after his defeat of US Open runner-up Zverev.
Swiatek fired 30 winners past 2018 champion Halep who failed to carve out a single break point.
“I am surprised I could do this,” admitted Swiatek after ending the 17-match winning streak of Halep.
It was a stunning turnaround for the Pole who won just one game against the Romanian at the same stage in Paris last year, swept off court in just 45 minutes.
Halep , who had arrived in Paris with claycourt titles from Prague and Rome, admitted: “She played really well, it was her match today.”
Swiatek will face Trevisan in the quarterfinal after the 26-year-old beat Bertens 6-4, 6-4. — AFP