Alcaraz and Tsitsipas set up French Open quarter-final


Carlos Alcaraz celebrates

Carlos Alcaraz has reached the French Open quarter-finals for the third successive year [Getty Images]

Spanish third seed Carlos Alcaraz made another statement of intent by sweeping past Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the French Open quarter-finals.

Alcaraz, 21, won 6-3 6-3 6-1 against the Canadian 21st seed on a rare rain-free day in Paris.

The reigning Wimbledon champion will face Greek ninth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last eight.

“I’m really happy with the performance today, I think I played a real high level of tennis,” Alcaraz said.

“I’m happy with my serve, my shots and my movement on the court.”

Tsitsipas, who is bidding to land his first major title, came from behind to beat Italy’s world number 35 Matteo Arnaldi 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2.

Elsewhere, Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner recovered from a slow start to beat Corentin Moutet – the last remaining Frenchman in the men’s singles draw – 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-1.

Sinner will face Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals after the Bulgarian beat eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

Alcaraz getting better ‘every match’

Alcaraz is targeting his first French Open title, having already won the US Open and Wimbledon.

But his preparations were hampered by a forearm injury which he carried into the clay-court major.

He arrived in Paris with only a run to the Madrid Open quarter-finals under his belt on clay and he admitted earlier in the tournament that he was still feeling pain.

After powering past Sebastian Korda in the third round he said he felt more like himself – and he looked it as he beat 23-year-old Auger-Aliassime on Court Philippe Chatrier.

“I didn’t come here with a lot of rhythm, but I believe in myself. After every practice and every match I’m getting better,” Alcaraz, who reached the semi-finals last year, added.

Auger-Aliassime needed treatment for what appeared to be a muscular issue early in the second set and struggled with his serve for the remainder of the match.

With Auger-Aliassime vulnerable, Alcaraz broke twice on his way to a 5-0 third-set lead and served out victory shortly after Tsitsipas had done the same on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Arnaldi had stunned Russian sixth seed Andrey Rublev in the previous round and led by a set and a break as he looked to take another notable scalp.

Tsitsipas, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2021 final at Roland Garros, looked like paying for not taking any of five break points in the first set and then another three in the second.

However, he showed courage to save four set points when trailing 5-3 and 5-4 and was rewarded by eventually breaking Arnaldi’s serve in the 10th game.

After winning the tie-break and breaking in the first game of the third set, Tsitsipas retained utter control and broke three more times to race away with victory.

Second seed Sinner to face Dimitrov

Jannik SinnerJannik Sinner

Sinner had only dropped sets against Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev in Grand Slams this year before he faced Moutet [Getty Images]

Italian world number two Sinner was the overwhelming favourite against Moutet in the evening session on Roland Garros’ main show court, having not dropped a set all tournament.

But he was out of sorts in the first set, with Moutet – supported by a boisterous home crowd – breaking the second seed three times to take a 5-0 lead.

After clinching the first set, the world number 79 then broke Sinner in the first game of the second.

“It was very tough for me, he played very well in the first set,” said Sinner.

“I had some chances but he played much better than me so I had to adjust a little bit.”

Sinner improved, breaking in two of Moutet’s next three games to take the second set, and he ultimately never looked back.

“[Moutet] had an amazing run here at this Roland Garros,” added Sinner, who can rise to world number one by reaching the final in Paris.

“He plays different to so many opponents, he’s also a lefty. It was tough for me, I’m happy to be in the next round.”

It is the first time Sinner has reached the last eight at Roland Garros since 2020.

He will face 10th seed Dimitrov in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Dimitrov beat Hurkacz less than 24 hours after getting past Zizou Bergs in the third round – a match that had lasted three hours and 38 minutes.

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