PARIS: Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas (pix) advanced to the fourth round of the French Open on Saturday after his opponent Aljaz Bedene retired with an ankle injury while trailing 6-1 6-2 3-1.
In his fourth round, the Greek will play Bulgarian 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who also advanced in a similar fashion when Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain retired due to sickness after going down 6-1 6-3.
“I have been throwing up all the day,” the Spaniard said. “I started yesterday night at 3am I tried to warm up and tried to play, but I couldn’t. It was impossible.”
Slovenian Bedene, who defeated Tsitsipas in straight sets when they met at Rotterdam earlier this year, first called for the physiotherapist on Court Suzanne Lenglen to get treatment on his right ankle after going down 5-0 in the opening set.
After returning to court Bedene won the first game to get on the scoreboard and then got his ankle strapped before the start of the second set.
Tsitsipas, the reigning ATP Finals champion, kept his focus and went about his business smoothly, hitting 28 winners and breaking the 56th-ranked Bedene’s serve five times before the 31-year-old decided he could no longer continue.
With his win on Saturday, Tsitsipas also become the first Greek player to reach the second week at Roland Garros on multiple occasions.
“It’s something that I cherish and appreciate,” he told reporters. “Being able to compete in a second week gives me a lot of confidence I think. It feels great. You feel like you’re part of a prestige.
“I’ve been putting a lot of hard work in in every single match trying to rise my level, play up to my expectations. I’m very glad that I am where I am today.
“It’s a moment that I can reflect on and move on to the second week with the knowledge of the first.”
France’s Fiona Ferro broke the resilience of Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig in a 7-6(7) 4-6 6-0 victory to reach the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time at the French Open on Saturday.
The 23-year-old recovered in style after the loss of the second set to claim her eighth consecutive win on the tour after she won the Palermo Ladies Open last month.
Supported by a loud, albeit scarce audience on court Philippe Chatrier, Ferro prevailed after two hours and 48 minutes.
“I’m very happy, it was a very tough match, physically and mentally. She makes you work for every single point. I’m really happy I pulled through,” world No. 49 Ferro said courtside.
“It’s my first appearance in the last 16 at a Grand Slam but it’s just a step. I have a match in two days and I’m going to try my best.”
Next up for the Belgium-born Ferro is American fourth seed Sofia Kenin, the Australian Open champion who wasted no time in destroying Romanian Irina Bara 6-2 6-0.
Ferro joins compatriot Caroline Garcia, who faces Ukrainian third seed Elina Svitolina on Sunday, in the last 16.
France would have had three in the fourth round in the women’s draw for the first time since 1973, but teenager Clara Burel lost 7-6(2) 7-5 to China’s Zhang Shuai after being up a break twice in the opening set. – Reuters