Tennis·Recap

Defending champ Nadal, Federer breeze into quarter-finals in Paris heat

Defending champion Rafael Nadal is through to the French Open quarterfinals after beating unseeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 in their first-ever meeting.

Nadal aiming for a record-extending 12th French Open title

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates victory during his men's singles fourth round match against Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina at the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on June 02, 2019 in Paris. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Defending champion Rafael Nadal is through to the French Open quarterfinals after beating unseeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 in their first-ever meeting.

With Londero serving to stay in the match, the second-seeded Nadal won on his first match point with a booming forehand winner.

In reaching his 38th quarterfinal at a major, Nadal moved ahead of Roy Emerson into fourth place on the all-time list. Roger Federer leads with 54.

Nadal is aiming for a record-extending 12th French Open title — which would be the most titles by a man or woman at any major.

WATCH | Nadal moves on to quarters:

Rafael Nadal defeats Juan Ignacio Londero 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. 1:32

The 32-year-old Spaniard next faces either seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan or unseeded Frenchman Benoit Paire who will resume play on Monday.

Their match was suspended due to darkness, with Nishikori leading two sets to one.

Federer Express rolls on

Roger Federer still has not dropped a set at the French Open and eased into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win against unseeded Argentine Leonardo Mayer.

With temperatures reaching 88 Fahrenheit (31 Celsius) on a sun-soaked centre court, the third-seeded Federer was rarely troubled in beating Mayer for the fourth time in four meetings.

After dropping his serve to lose the second set, Mayer angrily swiped the ball away and was given a code violation warning for ball abuse.

It was the second time Federer has beaten Mayer at a Grand Slam— the other also coming in straight sets, in the first round of the U.S. Open in 2015.

That was also the last year Federer played at Roland Garros, before taking the decision to skip clay entirely until returning to the surface this year.

WATCH | Federer wins in straight sets:

20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer beats Leonardo Mayer 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. 1:03

Federer is chasing a record-extending 21st Grand Slam title. He won his only French Open in 2009.

Four years ago, Federer lost in the quarterfinals to Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka in straight sets.

Now he will get a chance to make amends, as he will face Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.

Wawrinka edged Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 8-6 after 5 hours, 9 minutes to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in two years.

The 24th-seeded Wawrinka saved 22 of 27 break points, including 8 of 8 in the fifth set, against No. 6 seed Tsitsipas.

Wawrinka won the 2015 French Open for one of his three career major titles and was the runner-up in 2017. But he hadn't been past the fourth round at a Slam since, in part because he missed time after knee surgery.

2016 champion Muguruza ousted

On the women's side, Sloane Stephens is through to the quarterfinals after beating 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-3 of Spain on the fifth match point.

Stephens was the runner-up at Roland Garros last year, losing to Simona Halep.

After saving the fourth match point with a cross-court forehand, the 19th-seeded Muguruza hit another powerful winner to forge a break point.

But Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, saved that with an ace for deuce and moments later she was celebrating victory.

The seventh-seeded American next faces 26th-seeded Briton Johanna Konta, who won their two previous meetings.

Both those matches were played this year.

Konta beat 23rd-seeded Donna Vekic 6-2, 6-4. 

While Konta has reached two Grand Slam semifinals, at the Australian Open in 2016 and at Wimbledon in 2017, she had never been past the first round at Roland Garros in four previous appearances.

Elsewhere, Petra Martic followed up her win over second-seeded Karolina Pliskova by rallying past Kaia Kanepi 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

The 31st-seeded Martic had entered with an 0-4 record in the fourth round at majors — first reaching the last 16 at Roland Garros seven years ago.

Martic will now face Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova, who reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal without dropping a set.

The 19-year-old Vondrousova beat 12th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova 6-2, 6-0 in just 59 minutes.

The only two games that Vondrousova lost came immediately after she took a medical timeout to receive treatment for an apparent cut on a finger of her left hand — her playing hand — while leading 3-0 in the first. She appeared to pick up the cut when Vondrousova slipped and fell to the clay in the previous game.

With the temperature rising to nearly 85 Fahrenheit (29 Celsius), both players put towels containing ice packs around their necks during the changeovers.

Vondrousova improved to 25-5 since exiting the Australian Open in the second round — a stretch that includes finals in Budapest and Istanbul.

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