French Open: Rain washes away day's play

Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Madison Keys, Simona Halep and Amanda Anisimova will have to play their quarterfinal matches on Thursday.

It looks like a Wednesday washout at Roland-Garros.   -  AFP

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's LIVE blog of the 2019 French Open quarterfinals.

 

8:05pm: Play has been called off for the day.

That's good for the players in the other half of the draw as the two remaining men's and women's singles quarterfinals will have to be played on Thursday.

Sportstar will be back for Simona Halep vs Amanda Anisimova, Ashleigh Barty vs Madison Keys, Novak Djokovic vs Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem vs Karen Khachanov tomorrow.

7:20pm: The rain hasn't let up in Paris.

The French Open is the only Grand Slam without a retractable roof. But that won't be for long. Court Philippe-Chatrier was largely demolished after the 2018 tournament and rebuilt in time for this year's edition, and it'll have a retractable roof in place for 2020.

We could really do with one right now.

The day's lost play is bad news for women's singles, as the two quarterfinals left over, the two semifinals and the final will have to be played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

No official word yet from Roland-Garros.

While we wait, here are highlights from Tuesday's exciting Federer-Wawrinka clash

 

6:05pm: The women's singles quarterfinal matches have been delayed further.

With the rain strengthening, it's starting to look like we might not have any further action today. Stay tuned for updates on that.

5:30pm: Rain has delayed the start of the day's four big matches.

The Simona Halep-Amanda Anisimova and Ashleigh Barty-Madison Keys women's quarterfinals are now scheduled to start at 6:00pm India time.

The Novak Djokovic-Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem-Karen Khachanov men's quarterfinals will not begin before 7:15pm.

Federer-Nadal at Roland-Garros after eight years

A Federer-Nadal clash on clay is coming for the first time since 2013 in Rome and the final in 2011 was the last time they met at the French Open. Federer hasn't beaten Nadal on clay since 2009. The 20-time Grand Slam champion knows how tough a match against the King of Clay can be, especially when returning to clay after a break of four years. "If you want to achieve something on clay, inevitable, at some stage, you have to go through Rafa."

 

4:00pm: A recap from Tuesday.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal set up a sixth meeting at Roland Garros, the first since 2011. The two GOAT contenders reached the semis in contrasting fashion amid an hour-long rain delay.

Federer needed three hours and 35 minutes to dispatch of compatriot Stan Wawrinka in a match of supreme tennis that saw the latter return to the kind of game he played when he won three Grand Slam titles in 2013-15.

 

READ | Federer ousts Wawrinka to set up mouth-watering Nadal semifinal

Nadal had it much easier, dropping just five games to Kei Nishikori in a match that lasted an hour and 51 minutes.

READ | Nadal thrashes Nishikori to set up Federer showdown

On the women's side, Joanna Konta became the first British woman to reach the last four at Roland-Garros since Jo Durie in 1983, beating 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens in straight sets.

READ | Konta beaming after breaking new ground at French Open

And 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova the first teenager since Jelena Ostapenko in 2017 to reach this stage of a Grand Slam, beating Petra Martic in straight sets.

3:55pm: We're less than two hours away from the final four singles quarterfinal matches of the 2019 French Open.

Reigning champion Simona Halep will take on rising star Amanda Anisimova, the 17-year-old American who's reached her second Grand Slam quarterfinal of the year, on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Halep enters the match after a 6-1, 6-0 hammering of another 17-year-old, Iga Swiatek of Poland. But Anisimova has hit a rich vein of form of her own, not dropping a set this tournament and beating Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov 6-3, 6-0 in the round of 16.

READ | Who is Amanda Anisimova?

On Court Suzanne-Lenglen, eighth seed Ashleigh Barty takes on 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys.

The 5"5 Barty is the breakout star of the year. Just 23, she'd had quite a storied career. In 2013, she reached the doubles finals at the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open at age 16-17. But at the end of 2015, Barty took a break from tennis because, in her own words, she wanted to have normal experiences.

Barty spent 2016 playing cricket in the Women's Big Bash League and the Women's National Cricket League in Australia. She returned to tennis the years after, winning her first WTA title and cracking the top 20 in the world as well as making a fourth doubles Grand Slam final.

READ | Ashleigh Barty, Madison Keys set up quarterfinal clash

In 2018, Barty won the US Open doubles title with CoCo Vandeghe and also the WTA Elite Trophy, the biggest title of her singles career.

At this year's Australian Open, she made the quarterfinal of a Major for the first time.

In an age of tall players with a power game, Barty is built in the mould of Martina Hingis and Justine Henin. She's got solid groundstrokes on both flanks, can employ the kick serve and create sharp angles, and has a slice backhand.

Highlights from Day 9

Roger Federer bt Stan Wawrinka 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4

Johanna Konta bt Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-4

Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1, 6-3

Marketa Vondrousova vs Petra Martic 7-6, 7-5