Paris | Sinner/Dimitrov and Alcaraz/Tsitsipas are the first two men’s quarter final matches.

The first week of the French Open drew to a close with Jannik Sinner, the Australian Open champion and second seed, surviving a scare in the fourth round to progress into the quarter finals at Roland Garros and keep his hopes alive of adding a second grand slam title to his Melbourne success.

It was very tough for me, I think he played very well in the first set, I had some chances, but he played much better than me and I had to adjust Jannik Sinner

He defeated the home favourite, Corentin Moutet 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-1 to bring the French challenge at this year’s event to an end.

The Italian, who has only lost two matches in the six previous tournaments he has contested this year, lost the first five games of the match and saved two set points to avoid being bagelled for the first time since 2021 when he finally got his sputtering game firing properly in the evening session on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Sinner didn’t panic even when after dropping the first set and going a break down early in the second but having recovered that break, he took command and swept through dropping just six games in the following three sets to win his 11th consecutive match at slam level after two-hours and 44-minutes and go 32-2 for the season.

“It was very tough for me, I think he played very well in the first set,” Sinner admitted. “I had some chances, but he played much better than me and I had to adjust.

“He had an amazing run here. He plays different than most opponents; he’s also a lefty, so I’m happy to be in the next round.”

Sinner will need to avoid a similar lapse if he is to achieve his goal and lift the trophy for the first time, when he faces Grigor Dimitrov in the last-eight and a potential semi-final showdown with Carlos Alcaraz looming on the horizon.

Grigor Dimitrov dominates his fourth round opponent

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Dimitrov, playing in his 14th French Open, defeated Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(5) 6-4 7-6(3) and was delighted at his win which meant he had made the last eight of the four Grand Slams at one stage or another. It was also his sixth win over the Pole who has yet to succeed against the Bulgarian who also leads 7-0 in their tiebreak encounters!

“It’s very hard to play against such a good friend. I’ve known him for quite a few years,” the 33-year-old Dimitrov said on court. “We practice a lot and we’ve had quite a few moments together. I knew it was going to be a difficult match, but I knew also that I had to fight a lot.

“I always wanted to get to that second week. Roland Garros was the only Slam where I felt that I could not get that extra step. But today, 15 years later, I made it, so I’m very happy with that.”

Earlier in the day Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas cleared their fourth-round hurdles with very contrasting results.

Alcaraz had little trouble in his three-set win but Tsitsipas struggled before progressing in four.

Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame the problems

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Tsitsipas, a former finalist was down a set and 3-5 15-40 before rallying past 23-year-old Italian Matteo Arnaldi, conqueror of Andrey Rublev in the previous round, 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2 6-2.

“I had to push today. It was one of the craziest comebacks I have had,” Tsitsipas admitted. “The momentum seemed to be going his way the entire match. It was very frustrating on my end because I thought I was trying my best, trying to make him move, but nothing really seemed to be working.

“The spirit is the reason I managed to comeback today. Even at 3-5 in the second set I felt that I could comeback. That there was power in me to turn this match around and I think the game at 5-4 when I broke him was the biggest pleasure I experienced in tennis for a long time because I felt there was a chance. Now me and the crowd are on this, and it felt amazing.”

Carlos Alcaraz was at his best

(Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Alcaraz leads Tsitsipas 5-0 including a win at the quarter final stage a year ago.

“I am really looking forward to playing this match,” Alcaraz said of their forthcoming encounter. “I love this kind of challenge, these matches. I have seen a lot of matches lately from Stefanos and I know he is playing great and has a lot of confidence right now. But I think I have the key against him so will try to put the shots that put him in trouble. I will try to show my best.

“I’ll try to put the shots that put him in trouble. Hopefully the crowd is going to enjoy it as much as I’m going to. Let’s see how it’s going to be.”

And, if he keeps his level up as he did against Felix Auger Aliassime, the Spaniard remains favourite to go all the way!

In fact, Alcaraz played his best tennis over recent weeks to defeat the Canadian 6-3 6-3 6-1 and reach his third straight quarter final at Roland Garros.

The 21-year-old had lost three times before to Auger Aliassime but on this occasion, he had no problems whatsoever and his ‘suspect’ forearm showed no signs of hampering him.

“I am really happy with my performance today,” Alcaraz said of his victory. “I think I played a really high level of tennis. Really focused, no ups and downs in the match. That is something I am working on. I am really happy with everything, my serve, my movement, my shots. I know that Felix is a great player and playing great tennis. The Head2Head he was up, and I was looking forward to being equal with him. I am really happy to get the win in the end.”

It’s Alcaraz’s sixth consecutive Grand Slam quarter final and has very much reinforced his status as title favourite!



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