Trivia: Sebastian Korda’s trying to become the first American man to reach the quarterfinals here since 2003. Who did it then?
Welcome to Week 2! Three Grand Slam champions—Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep and Dominic Thiem—are all on a packed line-up on Chatrier today as the first spots in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros are up for grabs.
Nadal’s trying to reach a record 14th Roland Garros quarterfinal. He would be the first man ever to reach 14 career quarterfinals here, but Novak Djokovic can tie him on Monday if he beats Karen Khachanov.
Nadal’s 24-1 against qualifiers at majors. The only qualifier ever to beat Nadal at a Major is Dustin Brown, who beat him in the second round of 2015 Wimbledon. Today, Nadal plays Korda, a qualifier.
At 20, Korda’s the youngest American man to reach the fourth round here since 1991. That year a 19-year-old Michael Chang reached the quarterfinals. Korda’s dad made the final the next year.
Halep and Iga Swiatek met in the same round here a year ago—and they were off the court after 45 minutes. The Romanian hit 17 winners to just five unforced errors to beat the Polish teenager, 6-1, 6-0.
Thiem’s trying to reach his fifth straight Roland Garros quarterfinal. Only eight men in the Open Era have reached five or more in a row: the Big 3, Guillermo Vilas, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Alex Corretja and Raul Ramirez.
Caroline Garcia’s won her last three meetings with Elina Svitolina—and from a set and a break down. She won at 2017 Beijing, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (6); at the 2017 WTA Finals, 6-7 (7), 6-3, 7-5; and at 2018 Stuttgart, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2. Those three matches lasted a total of eight hours and 23 minutes (average of 2:48).
Kiki Bertens and Martina Trevisan have both saved match point to get to this round. The two women play each other today, but they were both a point away from going out earlier in the tournament—Bertens saved one match point against Sara Errani (second round) and Trevisan two against Maria Sakkari (third round).
At No. 239, Hugo Gaston is trying to become the lowest-ranked man to reach the quarterfinals of Roland Garros since ATP rankings began in 1973. At No. 213, Korda could also achieve the feat if he wins (and Gaston loses). The lowest-ranked man to do it as of now is No. 200 Henri Leconte in 1992.
At 19, Jannik Sinner is the youngest man to reach the second week of a major since 2011 Wimbledon. An 18-year-old Bernard Tomic got to the quarterfinals at the All-England Club that year, falling to Djokovic.
Yesterday’s Trivia: The only two “three-namers” ever to beat Djokovic at a major were Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Pablo Carreno Busta.