Simona Halep, Alexander Zverev and Kiki Bertens have all crashed out on a day of drama at the French Open.
Halep and Bertens, the women’s No.1 and 5 seeds, suffered major upsets early on Sunday before men’s No.6 seed Zverev completed the carnage later in the day.
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Halep was completely outplayed by Poland’s Iga Swiatek, losing 6-1 6-2 in a fourth round boilover.
The 19-year-old Swiatek, ranked 54th in the world, had lost to Halep 6-1 6-0 at the same stage last year in the claycourt grand slam at Roland Garros.
But this time the roles were reversed.
In her first ever grand slam quarter-final, Swiatek will play Italy’s Martina Trevisan, who upset Belgian fifth seed Bertens.
“I felt like I was playing perfectly,” Swiatek said in an interview on Court Philippe Chatrier.
“I was so focused the whole match and I'm surprised I could do that. This week has been a dream come true for me.”
Another major shock swiftly followed as Italian Trevisan defeated Bertens 6-4 6-4 to become the first qualifier in eight years to reach the quarter-finals.
The World No.159 played aggressively throughout to stun Bertens.
“I came here two weeks ago to play the qualifiers and today I'm here in the quarter-finals. I can't believe it,” said Trevisan, who will break into the top 100 of the WTA rankings on Monday.
“I'm really honoured to play on this court with Bertens; she's an incredible player.”
Nadal cruises as Zverev crashes out
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal blew away American qualifier Sebastian Korda 6-1 6-1 6-2 to romp into the French Open quarter-finals and close in on a record-extending 13th title at Roland Garros.
With the sun out and the wind up on Court Philippe Chatrier, it always looked like mission impossible for the 213th-ranked Korda and so it proved on Sunday in a one-sided fourth-round match.
“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, who needs one more grand slam title to equal Roger Federer's 20, said.
Korda, 20, actually had two break points in Nadal's opening service game that spanned nine minutes, and also had game point in the next game in a competitive opening.
He did not win either, however, and once Nadal had sprinted into a 5-0 lead the American already looked down and out in Paris.
Korda, son of 1998 Australian Open champion and 1992 French Open runner-up Petr, was unable to cope with the strong breeze or Nadal's heavy spin as the first two sets went by in little more than an hour.
Nadal has dropped only 23 games so far and is yet to face a seed. He will next take on rising Italian Jannik Sinner in his 42nd Grand Slam quarter-final, third on the all-time list.
Sinner earned his place in the last eight by downing German sixth seed Zverev 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3, in the process becoming the first debutant to reach the French Open quarter-finals since Nadal himself in 2005.
The 19-year-old will also be the youngest male player since Novak Djokovic in 2006 to feature in the last eight at Roland Garros.
After the match, Zverev complained of feeling unwell and struggling to breathe, although the French tennis federation (FFT), who run the tournament, said he was tested for COVID-19 on September 29 and the test returned a negative result the following day.
Organisers said Zverev did not consult with the Roland Garros medical service before his match against Sinner.
Dominic Thiem nearly became another high-profile casualty, the third seed surviving an incredible fightback from French wild card Hugo Gaston to win 6-4 6-4 5-7 3-6 6-3.
Fans flocked to social media in disbelief after the day of upsets.
It's been another stressful day personally & tennis isn't helping find some calm for once😅— ZENIA D'CUNHA (@ZENIADCUNHA) October 4, 2020
-Title pick Halep crushed by Swiatek
-Qualifiers Trevisan, Podorska into QF
-Sinner smokes Zverev, who has troubling symptoms
-Now No 239 & Wawrinka-beater Gaston pushes Thiem to the 5th
Oh my God, woke up to see all these scores!🤯😱🙊👀 WTH???— Zory Moreno (@Zory363) October 4, 2020
French open packed with some crazy surprises. Halep(1) and Zverev(6)out, both losing to unseeded players🥶🥶— shash (@shash_sood) October 4, 2020
Astonishing start to Sunday @rolandgarros with @Simona_Halep crunched and Bertens beaten too. No sign of @RafaelNadal being blown off course on a very windy day in the French capital but Zverev is in early trouble. #RG20 Listen all day wherever you are on @radio_RG— Marcus Buckland (@marcus_buckland) October 4, 2020
I woke up and immediately saw Rothenberg’s tweet with the pronunciation of her name and knew something insane has happened.— seduced by chicken tetrazzini (@RealTrillBill) October 4, 2020
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