Misc Tennis

French Open: Sabalenka, Rybakina crash out on day of upsets at Roland Garros

Storm Sanders was Australia’s hero after she won the first singles rubber before returning for the deciding doubles match alongside 38-year-old Samantha Stosur.

Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan plays a backhand against Jasmine Paolini of Italy during the Women’s Singles Quarter Final match on Day 11 at Roland Garros on June 5, 2024 in Paris, France.
| Photo Credit: Getty Images

The script was ripped up at the French Open on Wednesday as ailing second seed Aryna Sabalenka and off-colour fourth seed Elena Rybakina were sent tumbling out in the quarter-finals before Alexander Zverev restored some normality.

Hampered by illness throughout her match, Sabalenka crashed to a 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 defeat to Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva as the Australian Open champion’s 11-match Grand Slam winning streak ground to a halt on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The 26-year-old barely looked like she could continue but soldiered on as fans on the main showcourt got behind her.

Andreeva took full advantage and reached her maiden major semi-final, becoming the youngest in the last four at a Grand Slam since Martina Hingis in 1997 and setting up a clash with Rybakina’s conqueror Jasmine Paolini.

Andreeva’s refreshingly fearless strokeplay has caught the eye at Roland Garros and she paid tribute to her coach Conchita Martinez, although she admitted that it was hard to keep track of all her instructions.

“I would say that I always play the way I want to play. We have a plan with my coach for the match, but afterwards I forget everything,” Andreeva told reporters.

“When I play a match, I don’t have any thoughts in my head. So maybe I would say that my strength could be that I just play how I want to play and I do whatever I want to do. Maybe this helps me when I play.”

She admitted to feeling some nerves but her confidence only grew as the match wore on.

“In the beginning I didn’t really believe it, because she’s very experienced. She has two Grand Slams in her pocket. She’s a great player, very aggressive,” Andreeva said.

“So, it was like, ‘we’ll see what will happen, but I’m not sure if I can do it, but I will just try to enjoy the atmosphere and try to play the best way I can’.”

Stomach bug

Sabalenka said she had been struggling with a stomach bug for a few days, which ended her bid to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to win the Australian Open and Roland Garros in the same season.

“I had a difficult time out there physically. I did my best to try and manage it,” Sabalenka said.

“I always do my best to fight to the end. I had to keep trying and hope I could find a way and feel a bit better.”

The precocious Andreeva’s opponent in the…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Tennis News, Updates, Tennis Scores, ATP, WTA, Grand Slams | The Hindu…