Nicolas Jarry is making up for lost time at the French Open after his career was briefly derailed by a doping suspension.
The 35th-ranked Chilean has reached the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time and on Monday faces 2022 runner-up and world number four Casper Ruud for a place in the last eight.
However, back in 2020, when the international sporting calendar was in a pandemic shutdown, Jarry was hit with an 11-month ban despite tennis authorities accepting his explanation that banned substances found in a urine sample had originated in vitamin supplements bought from Brazil.
Jarry was at 89 in the world at the time but when he eventually returned to action his ranking had tanked to 1,165.
“After many years, I’m finally in the second week of a Grand Slam,” said the 27-year-old.
“Since I came back (from his doping sanction) I wanted to do well in the Slams. That’s something that before, when I reached the top 100 a couple of years ago, I didn’t achieve.”
Jarry is on a seven-match win streak on clay. His 19 wins on clay in 2023 are second only to the 23 of world number one Carlos Alcaraz.
On the eve of the French Open, he won the Geneva title, beating Ruud in the quarter-finals before seeing off Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov in the championship match.
It was his second clay title of 2023 after capturing his home town Santiago event in March to add to Bastad in 2019, again on clay.
In the Chilean capital, he won four matches in three sets and dropped the first set of the final before seeing off Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
“I don’t have any pain or discomfort. For two years I’ve been working as if I were in the elite, I was prepared for what a Grand Slam requires,” he explained.
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