Beatriz Haddad Maia, Holger Rune Win Epic French Open Duels
Holger Rune and Beatriz Haddad Maia triumphed in marathon French Open epics on Monday. Iga Swiatek also edged closer to becoming the first back-to-back Roland Garros women's champion since 2007
Holger Rune and Beatriz Haddad Maia triumphed in marathon French Open epics on Monday. Iga Swiatek also edged closer to becoming the first back-to-back Roland Garros women's champion since 2007. World number six Rune reached a second successive quarter-final in a controversial five-set win over Francisco Cerundolo. The 20-year-old Dane came through 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (10/7) after four hours and will face 2022 runner-up Casper Ruud in a repeat of last year's bad-tempered quarter-final.
However, Rune was booed by the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd for hitting the ball on a double bounce in the fourth game of the third set. His 23rd seeded Argentine opponent stopped playing, expecting the umpire to call the point for him.
Play continued and Cerundolo, who was called for hindrance when he halted, dropped serve. Cerundolo, playing in the second week of a Slam for the first time, then had the crowd on its feet when he hit back to level the match.
In a dramatic decider, Rune survived being 3-4, 0-40 to hold and break. He served for the match at 5-4 but the 24-year-old from Buenos Aires hit back to level for 5-5 and held for 6-5 before the match went to a knife-edge tiebreak.
Rune finished the match with 48 winners and 73 unforced errors.
Terrific Haddad Maia
Haddad Maia won the third longest ever women's match at Roland Garros to become the first Brazilian woman in the last eight of a Slam since 1968. Haddad Maia battled from a set and 3-0 down to defeat Sara Sorribes Tormo in three hours and 51 minutes.
The 27-year-old Brazilian left-hander came through 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 7-5 against her 132nd-ranked Spanish opponent on Court Suzanne Lenglen, the venue also for the Rune-Cerundolo clash later in the afternoon.
The match was just 16 minutes short of the record four hours and seven minutes it took Virginie Buisson to beat French compatriot Noelle van Lottum in the first round at Roland Garros in 1995.
Haddad Maia is the first Brazilian woman in a Slam quarter-final since seven-time major winner Maria Bueno in 1968. She will face world number seven Ons Jabeur of Tunisia for a place in the semi-finals.
"I am very happy and very proud that I didn't give up and I think that is why I deserved this victory," said Haddad Maia.
Haddad Maia, ranked 14, claimed victory on a fourth match point after squandering three in the ninth game of the decider.
The Brazilian, who saved a match point in her previous round against Ekaterina Alexandrova, is no stranger to energy-sapping duels. In Rome last month, she dropped a three-hour 41-minute quarter-final to Anhelina Kalinina, now the second longest women's match of 2023.
Jabeur powered into the quarter-finals for the first time with a 6-3, 6-1 rout of Bernarda Pera, breaking the American's serve eight times. Jabeur, a Wimbledon and US Open runner-up last year, has now reached at least the quarter-finals of all four Slams.
"It was the only Grand Slam missing. I'm very happy with the performance," said Jabeur.
Later Monday, Swiatek, bidding to become the first woman since Justine Henin in 2007 to successfully defend the women's title in Paris, got a walkover after Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine pulled out mid first set. She will face Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals.
Gauff, 19, reached the quarter-finals for a third successive year with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Fourth-ranked Ruud, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal a year ago, beat in-form Nicolas Jarry of Chile 7-6 (7/3), 7-5, 7-5 to seal a quarter-final spot.
The Norwegian saved 14 of 17 break points and now has a tour-leading 85 clay court wins since 2020.
"It was three very, very difficult sets. How long would it have been if we had gone to a fifth set?" said the 24-year-old after a three-hour 20-minute battle. Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka faces Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina while Alexander Zverev, a two-time semi-finalist, faces Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in the night session.