Vancouver Sun

Nadal yet to lose a set, reaches fi­nal eight

Spa­niard try­ing to equal Fed­erer's Grand Slam record

- Sports · Tennis · Rafael Nadal · Roger Federer · Novak Djokovic · ATP World Tour Finals · Montreal · Montreal · Petra Kvitová · Ottawa · Alexander Zverev · Simona Halep · Leylah Annie Fernandez · Gabriela Dabrowski · Aliaksandra Sasnovich

Rafael Nadal blew away Amer­i­can qual­i­fier Se­bas­tian Korda 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 to romp into the French Open quar­ter-fi­nals on Sun­day and close in on a record-ex­tend­ing 13th ti­tle at Roland Gar­ros.

Nadal has lost no sets and only 23 games in reach­ing his 42nd Grand Slam quar­ter-fi­nal and is yet to face a seed.

Ris­ing Ital­ian Jan­nick Sin­ner, the first player since Nadal in 2005 to reach the quar­ter-fi­nals on his de­but, is next.

“I'm in the quar­ter-fi­nals with­out los­ing a set and hav­ing very pos­i­tive scores. So I can't com­plain at all,” the 34-year-old Nadal, who needs one more Grand Slam ti­tle to equal Roger Fed­erer's 20, said.

The 20-year-old Korda, son of 1992 run­ner-up Petr, had en­joyed a dream run in his first Tour-level event on clay and was up against his idol.

If he was to stand any chance of mak­ing it at all com­pet­i­tive he needed a good start, and he will rue the fact he lost the first two games de­spite hav­ing game points.

The first two sets went by in lit­tle more than an hour but even Nadal can lose fo­cus oc­ca­sion­ally and he dropped serve at the start of the third set to trail 2-0.

Nor­mal ser­vice was soon re­stored, though, as Nadal rat­tled off the next six games.

“Qual­i­fy­ing for my first Grand Slam, win­ning my first tour-level match, and then play­ing Rafa on Cha­trier in the fourth round of a Grand Slam, it's a big bless­ing,” Korda said.

“I learned a lot. The score wasn't the clos­est, but I mean, ev­ery game was pretty close.”

Mean­while, Sin­ner never lost his cool as he scored a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, vic­tory over Alexan­der Zverev on Sun­day. The 19-year-old is the youngest male player since No­vak Djokovic in 2006 to fea­ture in the last eight at Roland Gar­ros.

The South Ty­rolean, win­ner of last year's NextGen ATP Fi­nals, dropped a set for the first time in the tour­na­ment but he con­tin­ued to take the ball very early, mak­ing his 23-year-old op­po­nent look old at times.

Zverev said he had been ill since his third-round win against Ital­ian Marco Cecchi­nato on Fri­day.

“I am com­pletely sick af­ter the match with Cecchi­nato in the night. Yeah, what can I say? I'm com­pletely sick,” he said.

Sin­ner got off to a strong start, break­ing for 3-1 and sav­ing three break points in the fol­low­ing game, al­low­ing his op­po­nent to stay afloat cour­tesy of his un­forced er­rors.

A cough­ing Zverev had the doc­tor and the trainer on court, show­ing them his throat and send­ing them away.

Iga Swiatek finds prac­tice bor­ing but the Pole's best qual­ity is that she is al­ways ready when she steps onto the court for a con­test, her coach Piotr Sierzputow­ski said on Sun­day af­ter the 19-year-old reached the French Open quar­ter-fi­nals. Swiatek stunned top seed Si­mona Halep 6-1, 6-2 in a one-sided con­test to make the last eight of a ma­jor for the first time.

Sierzputow­ski has been work­ing with his young com­pa­triot since 2016, when she was a ju­nior player, and feels Swiatek likes to fo­cus more on the ba­sics than mak­ing tech­ni­cal ad­just­ments in her game.

“I think she's ready for ev­ery­thing on the court,” he said.

“I have a lot of things to work with her on the tech­ni­cal side and tac­ti­cal side. We have a lot of space to im­prove. But over­all it doesn't even mat­ter. When she comes to the court she puts the ball right where she wants.

“She's a beast of the com­pe­ti­tion I would call her.”

Swiatek only man­aged to win a sin­gle game in her 45-minute loss to Halep at the same stage at Roland Gar­ros last year, but she com­pleted a re­mark­able turn­around this time.

On Satur­day, Mon­treal's Ley­lah An­nie Fer­nan­dez bowed out with a 7-5, 6-3 loss to No. 7 seed Pe­tra Kvi­tova.

Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski and Je­lena Ostapenko lost in the third round of women's dou­bles, fall­ing to Ali­ak­san­dra Sas­novich and Marta Kostyuk 6-4, 6-4.

 ?? MARTIN BUREAU/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES ?? Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Amer­i­can Se­bas­tian Korda on his way to an easy 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 vic­tory dur­ing their men's sin­gles fourth round match on Day 8 of the 2020 French Open in Paris on Sun­day.
MARTIN BUREAU/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Amer­i­can Se­bas­tian Korda on his way to an easy 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 vic­tory dur­ing their men's sin­gles fourth round match on Day 8 of the 2020 French Open in Paris on Sun­day.

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