French Open at a glance -- day 4

Paris (AFP) –


French Open at a glance -- day 4


+ Nadal marks 90th match at Roland Garros with 88th win

+ Federer into 15th French Open quarter-final

+ Federer next plays son of former rival

+ Fourth seed Bertens quits with illness

+ Second seed Pliskova eases through

Top results

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Yannick Maden (GER) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4

Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Oscar Otte (GER) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x2) bt Kristina Kucova (SVK) 6-2, 6-2

Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) bt Kiki Bertens (NED x4) 3-1 -- retired

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x6) bt Hugo Dellien (BOL) 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5


Federer closes in on 'alphabet Grand Slam'

-- With his win over Oscar Otte on Wednesday, Federer has now beaten the tennis alphabet with the exception of the letter 'X'. According to the ATP, Federer's 1,204 wins have come over opponents with surnames starting with 25 of the alphabet's 26 letters. The closest he has come to the missing letter was beating Xavier Malisse.

Kids stuff for Nadal

-- Rafael Nadal is voted time after time as youngsters' number one player at the French Open and a jostling crowd outside the media centre waiting him to appear testified to his popularity.

"I always had good connection with the kids. I love to spend time with them. Being honest, I think I am natural, passionate, that's all," he said after seeing off Yannick Maden to make the last 32.

Age no concern for Sakkari

-- Greece's Maria Sakkari is working at Roland Garros with coach Tom Hill, who at 24 is just a year older than herself.

"I always had older coaches. I never had very old coach. Last one was my grandfather. We are very good friends, as well, so we do stuff together. And I remember in San Jose we were riding the scooters for, like, 45 minutes. So I wouldn't be able to do it with my grandfather, I assume."

It's just crazy for world number 252 Mahut

-- Nicolas Mahut reached the third round by seeing off last year's quarter-finalist Marco Cecchinato in five sets and then Phillip Kohlschreiber on Wednesday.

This was despite arriving in Paris not having won a match on tour since the 2015 US Open.

"This sport is crazy because I had to give a walkover in Bordeaux, in Rome, in Madrid. I had doubts about Lyon, and then I decided not to go. And then before the quallies here, after some practice with the coaches, I said, I'm going to give my wild card back. And I'm here now at the third round. It's crazy."

Just like 'my mom'

-- 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens is being coached by Sven Groenveld at the French Open having worked along with Fed Cup skipper Kathy Rinaldi earlier in the clay season.

"I have known her for so long and she's been around since I was, like, 12. It wasn't being a female type of thing. It's just like she's another mom, so it was kind of normal."

Who's saying what

"Sun. I like good conditions, but people who don't understand this game think that I play better when I can play slowly. It's the contrary, I like playing when the ball is fast. But if you ask me what I prefer, is pleasant temperature and sun."

-- Nadal on his hopes for warm weather when he faces David Goffin in the last 32 on Friday. It's likely he will get his wish with temperatures expected to be 24 degrees on the day.

"It's the ultimate challenge,"

-- Goffin on facing Nadal on clay

"To be holding that beautiful trophy that Roland Garros has to offer."

-- Stefanos Tsitsipas on his ambition for the 2019 tournament

"Earth and water have always been as they are."

-- Tsitsipas in cryptic mood on Twitter

"I'm not going to miss the travelling, the time zone change."

-- Four-time Grand Slam doubles champion Lucie Safarova on having played her last tournament.