French Open 2021: History made in women’s draw whilst Federer withdraws

Coco Gauff is through to her first career Grand Slam quarter-final. Photo: WTA Tennis

The fourth round of the 2021 French Open produced some of the matches of the tournament so far, with an Open-era record six first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalists making their way to the next round in the women’s bracket.

Tamara Zidansek, Paula Badosa, Elena Rybakina, Barbora Krejčíková, Coco Gauff and Maria Sakkari earned victories in the fourth round to create history and stamp their tickets to the Roland Garros quarter-finals.

Iga Światek the woman to beat

The reigning Roland Garros champion is on course to defend her maiden Grand Slam trophy at the 2021 French Open, taking care of Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in straight sets.

It was not the most convincing victory, as has been the case in Światek’s previous matches in Paris. Instead, the Polish superstar converted only four of her 12 break point opportunities. Kostyuk worked tirelessly to make the recently-turned 20-year-old earn her advancement to the quarter-finals, but in the end Światek proved too strong.

Coco Gauff booked her first Grand Slam quarter-finals appearance at just 17 years old, and in doing so stamped her ticket to the Tokyo Olympics for Team USA.

Gauff commanded the court over 25th seed Ons Jabeur, who had no answer for the precision and movement of the American on clay.

She is the youngest US-born player to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final since Venus Williams at the 1997 US Open. Gauff is also the youngest woman to reach a quarter-finals since 2006.

Iga Światek [8]66
Marta Kostyuk34
Coco Gauff [24]66
Ons Jabeur [25]31

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Federer has bigger fish to fry

The fourth round of men’s action at the 2021 French Open was headlined by the decision of Roger Federer to withdraw ahead of his matchup with 9th seed powerhouse Matteo Berrettini. It was a match set-up to go the distance, with few players on the tour striking the ball as cleanly as the hulking Italian.

Coming off of multiple knee injuries and over a year out of the game, it is no surprise that Federer is looking ahead to Wimbledon and a final Olympics campaign, though he has not confirmed if he will fly to Tokyo and represent Switzerland at the games.

Berrettini now has an opportunity to rest up, with a blockbuster quarter-final with Novak Djokovic awaiting.

Djokovic was made to work in the fourth round, eventually triumphing over burgeoning Italian Lorenzo Musetti in five sets. Musetti took the first two sets in tie-breakers, but eventually succumbed to the unrelenting power of the Serb one seed and retired in the fifth set.

The Italian teenager has given the world a taste of what he can accomplish on clay in the future.

Novak Djokovic [1]6[7]6[2]664
Lorenzo Musetti7[9]7[7]100 [ret]

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About Jasper Chellappah 103 Articles
Jasper writes on Aussie Rules, basketball, tennis and netball for The Inner Sanctum. His main area is player analysis and under-age competitions, with a keen focus on the AFL Draft. He also lends his voice to The Checkside and the SuperCoach Sanctum PODcast each week.

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