Paris | Rublev crashes as Alcaraz, Sinner and Tsitsipas advance.

Despite the persistent rain, this year’s French Open is on schedule with the main contenders getting into their stride as the second week approaches. However, one player who had more than an outside chance to be still in contention during the last few days at Roland Garros, has noisily crashed out!

Completely disappointed with myself the way I behaved, the way I performed, and I don’t remember behaving worse on a Slams ever Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev, the sixth seed who a few weeks back won the Madrid Masters, lost 7-6(6) 6-2 6-4 to Italy’s unheralded Matteo Arnaldi to become the biggest casualty in the men’s draw so far.

He showed frustration throughout the match as he committed a surprising 37 unforced errors and delivered four double faults. That frustration manifested itself into anger when he went two sets to love down!

While Arnaldi continued to pile on the pressure from the back of the court, the Russian broke a number of his rackets by smashing them on the ground, while he also kicked his bench repeatedly.

At one stage he argued with the umpire as he debated a close call with the umpire with his arm on the back of her chair and came close to a possible default!

“Completely disappointed with myself the way I behaved, the way I performed, and I don’t remember behaving worse on a Slams ever” Rublev admitted later.

“The problem is the head, that today basically I killed myself, and that’s it.

“I think it was first time I ever behave that bad. Not much to say.”

In contrast the 23-year-old Arnaldi, ranked 35, reached the fourth round of a slam for the second time, was pleased with the best win of his career.

“I was really nervous at the end because I was going to serve for the match for one of the biggest wins of my life,” said Arnaldi who has lost just one set in his three matches so far. “But I managed it really well… I was focused on myself and doing the right thing.”


Stefanos Tsitsipas is keeping a low profile

(Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Arnaldi will now face former runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas in the next round after the Greek, seeded nine, downed China’s Zhang Zhizhen 6-3 6-3 6-1 to reach the fourth round for a sixth straight time.

“I did feel today like my tennis was formed into a very fluid game,” Tsitsipas said on court. “The ball was coming off the racket really nicely. I was able to construct my points with patience and create some really good angles in some of the rallies.

“I was really precise in my decision making, but also in my shot placement. I felt like it was going deep, it was opening the court. It’s a great feeling when you are able to produce tennis like this.”


Carlos Alcaraz came through a tough test

(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Meanwhile two of the main contenders, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz powered their way through into the fourth round.

Wimbledon champion Alcaraz survived a tough test against the 27th seed Korda in the night session going through 6-4 7-6(5) 6-3 to edge closer to a semi-final meeting with Sinner, who saw off Russian Pavel Kotov 6-4 6-4 6-4.

The world number three struck 38 winners to book a meeting with either American Ben Shelton or Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, whose match was one of the three men’s ties suspended overnight due to rain.

“Sebastian Korda is a great player and a really good ball striker,” Alcaraz said following his victory.

“It is difficult to play against him. I had to run a lot. It was like a marathon for me today.”

Sinner on the other hand, was barely tested, saving the only break point he faced in a dominant display against Kotov.


Jannik Sinner has still to be really tested

(Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

The Australian Open champion, who will overtake Novak Djokovic as world number one if he reaches the final, will next take on French hope Corentin Moutet who came from behind to defeat Austria’s Sebastian Ofner 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-4.

Sinner, who has only lost two matches so far this year, is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

The Hubert Hurkacz/Denis Shapovalov and the Grigor Dimitrov/Zizou Bergs are the other two matches which have been suspended overnight by the weather.



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