PARIS, France – Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were knocked out in a blockbuster clash at the French Open on Friday as they both reached the last 16, while 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest person to travel to Paris for the second week since 2006.
Current champion Djokovic and 13-time winner Nadal are set to face off in the quarter-finals, with Spaniard out of the top four for only the second time at Roland Garros.
World number one Djokovic defeated Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 and Nadal lost to Dutch 26th seed Botic van de Jundsculop 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
“I am always very motivated when I go to court, every time I want to do my best. It’s not always possible, but it was great today, “said Djokovic.
The 35-year-old Serb is aiming to become the oldest male singles champion at the Open in Paris as he pursues a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.
Djokovic, who was also the 2016 French Open champion, was next up to match 15th seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.
Nadal, the 21-time major champion, lost to 20 de US Open quarter-finalist Van de Jandschalp to extend his record at Roland Garros to 108-3.
He has now reached at least the fourth round in 17 of Roland Garros’ 18 tours, excluding 2016 when he withdrew in the third round due to a wrist injury.
“Today has been a very good test and a very positive test, because I have been able to play my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt,” Nadal said.
The Spaniard had a break point 5-0 in the third set, but Van de Jandschalop refused to roll over, winning four of the next five games before Nadal removed his second match point, saving a break point between the two.
“You always feel a little nervous about finishing a match, so I’m happy to get straight to the set,” said Nadal, who plays in ninth-seeded Felix Agar-Aliasim of Canada for the last eight place.
Turning to that conflict, Tony Nadal, the Spaniard’s uncle and former coach, is now working with Agar-Aliasim.
Alkaraj, Zverev proceeded
Alcaraz took revenge against the only man to have beaten him on the ground this year, beating U.S. 26th seed Sebastian Corda 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the evening session.
This is the youngest Spanish teen star in the fourth round of Roland Garros since Djokovic 17 years ago.
“I’m trying to have fun there. I just enjoy every second. I love playing tennis, “said Alcaraz, who saved match points in the previous round against compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
He has won 20 of 21 matches on the ground this season and has since faced 21st seed Karen Khachanov. Russia’s Cameron knocked Nori out in four sets, as the tenth-seeded Britain’s highest-ranked player fell.
Third seed and 2021 semifinalist Alexander Zverev finished the race with American Brandon Nakashima, winning 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 7-6 (7/5).
The German Olympic champion, who also saved a match point in the second round, will next face Japata Mirales in Bernabe, the 131st-ranked Spaniard who defeated John Isner by five sets.
27th seed and 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova advanced to the last 16 as injured Carolina Muchova fell midway through her ankle and retired 6-7 (7/9), 6-2, 3-0 in the second set.
Last year’s US Open runners-up Lelah Fernandez defeated Olympic champion Belinda Bensik of Switzerland 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich defeated three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Karbar 6-4, 7-6 (7/7/5).
Coco Goff, the youngest player to leave the French Open, has reached the last 16 after beating Kaya Kanepi, the oldest woman in the tournament at the age of 36, in a straight set.
2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens finished straight with French teenager Diane Parry, where Swiss 23rd seed Jill Teichman lost to two-time former Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10) / 5).
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