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Rublev no saint in French Open exit, but Sinner shines

Andrey Rublev has blown his top along with his French Open hopes to become the biggest men's casualty so far on another rain-drenched day at Roland Garros.

But while the volatile Russian sixth seed was no saint under the roof of Court Suzanne Lenglen on his way to being knocked out by Italian giant-slayer Matteo Arnaldi 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 6-4, Jannik Sinner moved sweetly into the last 16 on Friday.

Rublev's hot-headed side came to the fore again in the second set, after he was already frustrated at spurning a set point in the first, when he got embroiled in an argument with umpire Lazemar Engzell over a disputed line call.

Rublev goes wild
Rublev chucking his racquet wildly into the clay on Court Suzanne Lenglen. (AP PHOTO)

It got worse when he then dropped serve and furiously smashed his racquet into the clay, ranted towards the players' box and, at the subsequent changeover, left a dent in the courtside bench by booting it.

By the third set, with blood boiling, he turned his wrath on himself, belting his own knee with his racquet.

And he continued berating himself later, admitting: "Completely disappointed with myself the way I behaved, the way I performed, and I don't remember behaving worse on a slam ever.

"I think it was first time I ever behaved that bad.

"It's not about concentration, it's because the way I behave I put myself completely down, and I give Matteo wings to fly, and he was flying in the third set unbelievable. It was too late to do something."

Rublev's most unwelcome claim to fame is playing 10 grand slam quarter-finals and losing them all but he didn't even get that far this time as 23-year-old Arnaldi, who had already knocked out the French 29th seed Arthur Fils in the first round, enjoyed his biggest win.

"It's incredible, I mean I think I played the best tennis for sure in my life I would say," said Arnaldi, who will next play an ominously impressive Stefanos Tsitsipas, who outplayed China's Zhizhen Zhang 6-3 6-3 6-1.

sinner
Jannik Sinner looked in impressive form as he raced into the last 16. (AP PHOTO)

World No.2 Sinner looks as if he will take some beating after a ruthless take-down of Russian Pavel Kotov 6-4 6-4 6-4, but then so also does third seed Carlos Alcaraz who ended proceedings in the night session with a thoroughly entertaining 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 defeat of American Sebastian Korda.

Both have had their injury concerns in the build up to Paris but there was no sign of his forearm problems as Alcaraz whipped his forehand well and Sinner faced just one break point as he made it three straight-sets wins in the tournament.

Dressed for the weather with a long-sleeved undershirt, Italy's Australian Open champion faced just one break point as he largely dominated the world No.56 to set up a last-16 date with France's Corentin Moutet.

With the rain still causing scheduling headaches, some big third-round matches like Hubert Hurkacz v Denis Shapovalov and Ben Shelton against Felix Auger-Aliassime, will have to be concluded on Saturday, with the forecast a little more promising after a damp start to the day.