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No marathons as Swiatek and Gauff sprint to French Open quarterfinals – Orange County Register

PARIS — After the Roland-Garros marathon, came the sprints.

Defending champion Iga Swiatek advanced to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in just 40 minutes after a crushing 6-0, 6-0 victory over Anastasia Potapova.

US Open champion Coco Gauff took just 60 minutes to beat unseeded Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1, 6-2.

The 20-year-old American looked poised for an even quicker victory when leading 5-0, but Cocciaretto fought back, receiving warm cheers from the crowd after winning the next match.

Swiatek finished with 48 points to just 10 for Potapova. The match ended when Potapova hit a forehand into the net on the first match point.

“I was just really focused and in the zone,” Swiatek said. “It happened pretty quickly, pretty weird.”

Their match started around 11 a.m. on the Philippe Chatrier court.

It was just eight hours after reigning men’s champion Novak Djokovic completed his four-and-a-half-hour five-set marathon against Lorenzo Musetti just after 3 a.m., the latest result in tournament history.

Swiatek said late finishes don’t end the game and aren’t healthy.

“Usually it takes us about four hours to relax, and you have to do some recovery, media. It’s not like the job ends with match point,” she said. “I was always one of the players who said we should start a little earlier.”

Gauff believes the problem needs to be resolved.

“It’s a complicated thing,” she said. “But I do think that, for the health and safety of the players, it would be in the best interest of the sport to try to avoid these matches ending or starting after a certain period of time.”

Gauff says there’s also a balance to be struck.

“Obviously I don’t want to complain too much about it because we have the chance and the privilege to play for a lot of money. There are people working in real conditions, in worse conditions, for less money and just trying to get by,” she said. “It’s just hard for me to know where some of my family members come from and where things are, and I think about the people who hear that. Yeah, if I was a working person, I would be upset to hear, you know, players complaining.

Potapova attributed her crushing defeat to constant rain delays in recent days, which sapped her energy.

“Unfortunately, over the last few days I started not feeling well and not eating well. Last night I didn’t sleep an hour. It’s very difficult to be honest. Especially when you want to play well, you have to try to keep everything inside,” she said. “But unfortunately, if you keep it inside, it doesn’t go away, it keeps growing. The stress inside my body has been growing and unfortunately today is when it exploded.

Saturday didn’t help much.

“Yesterday, I spent the whole day there because I had doubles. We arrived at 9:00 a.m. and by 7:00 p.m. it was (rescheduled). I spent the whole day here without hitting a ball,” she said. “This is not preparation for the fourth round of a grand slam against the world number one.”

Swiatek remains on track for her third consecutive French Open title and fourth overall. The top-ranked Pole faces Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova after the fifth-seeded Czech beat unseeded Serbian Olga Danilovic 6-4, 6-2.

Gauff will face No. 8 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, who advanced to her second consecutive French Open quarterfinal after beating unseeded Clara Tauson of Denmark 6-4, 6-4 .

On the men’s side, two-time Grand Slam title winner Carlos Alcaraz and 2021 French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas set up a quarterfinal showdown, while No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the last eight in Paris for the first time in 14 appearances and will next meet No. 2 Jannik Sinner.

Dimitrov knocked out No. 8 Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (3), and Australian Open champion Sinner recovered from a terrible start to beat no. -seeded Corentin Moutet 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. Sinner was broken in each of his first three service games – after holding 41 of 43 in his first three matches – and fell behind 5-0 just 22 minutes later, before starting.

Third-seeded Alcaraz defeated 21st-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

Auger-Aliassime appeared to be struggling with his left leg and called for a trainer when the match changed to 3-2 in the second set, then left the court for a medical timeout.

Tsitsipas beat unseeded Italian Matteo Arnaldi 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-2, and the ninth-seeded Greek celebrated enthusiastically in front of the Suzanne Court crowd Lenglen.

“Now me and the crowd are on it, so it was amazing,” said Tsitsipas, who was on the verge of a two-set deficit but saved four set points in the second. “I felt there was within me the power to turn things around.”

What if we played Alcaraz?

“He has said in the past that he likes to play against me,” Tsitsipas said. “I hope he likes it a little less.”

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