French Open day six: Norrie out as Djokovic, Alcaraz and Sabalenka march on

By Sports Desk June 02, 2023

British interest in singles at the French Open ended after Cameron Norrie lost meekly to Lorenzo Musetti in the third round, castigating his attitude and performance in a 6-1 6-2 6-4 defeat.

Novak Djokovic survived the longest three-set match of his grand slam career, battling past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in three hours and 36 minutes, while Carlos Alcaraz had a much easier time against Denis Shapovalov.

In the women’s event, Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka reached round four for the first time but third seed Jessica Pegula is out.

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Naomi Osaka and boyfriend Cordae are expecting a girl.

Shot of the dayStat of the day

A disastrous first week for the home country, who began with 28 players in the main singles draws.

Fritz earns Mac approval

Not surprisingly, Taylor Fritz’s baiting of the French crowd in his late-night win over Arthur Rinderknech was right up John McEnroe’s street. “I like to see a little confrontation,” said Eurosport pundit McEnroe. The booing was so loud that the on-court interview was limited to one question.

China return

The WTA announced earlier this year that it would be ending its boycott of China over the Peng Shuai affair. Details of the autumn calendar have now been announced, with seven tournaments taking place in the country, including the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

Fallen seeds

Men: Andrey Rublev (7), Hubert Hurkacz (13), Cameron Norrie (14), Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (29).
Women: Jessica Pegula (3), Anastasia Potapova (24), Irina-Camelia Begu (27).

Who’s up next?

The boot will be on the other foot for 19-year-old Coco Gauff when she takes on Russian Mirra Andreeva, three years her junior, in the third round on Saturday. Defending champion Iga Swiatek meets Wang Xinyu of China while fourth seed Elena Rybakina plays Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo. The night session again features a men’s match – Alexander Zverev up against Frances Tiafoe – while Casper Ruud and Holger Rune are also in action.

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  • Play suspended in Berlin as Pegula and Gauff vie for final place Play suspended in Berlin as Pegula and Gauff vie for final place

    Jessica Pegula's all-American Berlin Open semi-final clash with Coco Gauff has been suspended overnight, as the duo vie for a spot in the final against Anna Kalinskaya.

    Pegula led Gauff 7-5 6-6 (3-1) when rain in the German capital halted play on Saturday, with a later announcement confirming the match will not resume until Sunday.

    Both players had already taken to the court once on Saturday, as Gauff's last-eight opponent Ons Jabeur retired due to illness after losing a 68-minute opening set 7-6 (11-9). 

    Pegula, meanwhile, wrapped up a two-day quarter-final victory over Katerina Siniakova by a 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 scoreline.

    The winner of the pair's match will also have to play twice on Sunday, with Kalinskaya lying in wait in the final after she beat former world number one Victoria Azarenka 6-1 6-7 (3-7) 6-1.

    Data Debrief: Kalinskaya primed for an upset?

    Whoever emerges victorious on Sunday morning, Kalinskaya will face a top-five player, with Gauff currently second in the world rankings and Pegula fifth.

    Kalinskaya has already recorded three top-five victories this year. She lost her only previous meeting with Pegula in Washington D.C. in 2019 but won her first clash with Gauff in Dubai earlier this year.

  • Musetti to face Paul in Queen's Championship final Musetti to face Paul in Queen's Championship final

    Lorenzo Musetti will play Tommy Paul in the final of the Queen's Championship following an exceptional day of action in West Kensington.

    In the first game of the afternoon, Italian Musetti edged a three-set encounter 3-6, 6-3, 3-6 against Jordan Thompson to be the first to book his place in Sunday's final. 

    Having won the opening set, Thompson fought back to take the game to a decider. Despite saving five break points in the eighth game, the Australian was eventually beaten as Musetti booked his place in his first grass final. 

    Later that afternoon, Paul came through an all-American contest in straight sets, emerging a 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) victor over Sebastian Korda to set up a maiden encounter with the Italian. 

    27-year-old Paul quickly found a break in the second game against his opponent and despite Korda replying with a break of his own in the seventh game, was unable to recover from his slow start. 

    The second set flowed with both players trading break points, but an error-strewn display from Korda allowed Paul to see out the contest with relative ease to become the first American finalist at Queen's since 2010

    Data Debrief: Musetti faces 

    Musetti maintained his unbeaten record against his Australian opponent, having won their previous encounter in straight sets in Adelaide back in January. The Italian also won 45 of his 62 first-serve points, a success rate of 73%. 

    After three consecutive defeats against Korda, Paul has now won two of his last three meetings with his compatriot. However, his opponent bettered him on first-serve points, winning 74% compared to Paul's 62%. 

  • Sinner reaches maiden grass final, will face Hurkacz as Zverev crashes out Sinner reaches maiden grass final, will face Hurkacz as Zverev crashes out

    Jannik Sinner will face Hubert Hurkacz in his first ATP Tour-level grass final after overcoming Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in the last four at the Halle Open.

    The world number one entered Saturday's clash with Zhang, ranked 42nd in the world, on a 35-match winning streak against players outside the ATP's top 20.

    There was to be no upset in North Rhine-Westphalia, though Zhang pushed him close in a match that featured just one break – Sinner doing the honours in the ninth game of the opening set.

    Zhang failed to convert the lone break point generated in the second set as both players served confidently, the Chinese number one winning 79% of first-serve points to Sinner's 75%.

    However, the Italian's quality shone through in the tie-break, the Australian Open champion converting his third match point to advance. 

    Hurkacz will be his final opponent after he pulled off an upset of Zverev earlier on Saturday, the fifth-seeded Pole producing a big-serving display in a 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 win.

    Sinner and Hurkacz played doubles together earlier this week, saving two match points in a thrilling win over Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow before going out to French duo Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul the following day.

    Data Debrief: Sinner matches Federer and Medvedev

    Sinner will have a chance to capture his first title on grass on Sunday, which would represent the best possible preparation for a tilt at Wimbledon.

    He is just the third player to reach the Halle Open final while top of the world rankings, after Roger Federer (in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2018) and Daniil Medvedev (2022).

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