Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Karen Khachanov reach French Open quarter-finals
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova dug deep to return to the French Open quarter-finals for the first time since her runner-up finish two years ago
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova dug deep to return to the French Open quarter-finals for the first time since her runner-up finish two years ago while fellow Russian Karen Khachanov also fought his way through on a bright Sunday at Roland Garros.
Pavlyuchenkova, who was defeated in the 2021 final by Czech Barbora Krejcikova, skipped last year's edition as well as the second half of the season to nurse a knee problem and came into the match after three-setters in her last two encounters.
She was tested again by 28th seed Elise Mertens but rallied from a set and a break down to seal a 3-6 7-6(3) 6-3 victory in a little more than three hours.
Pavlyuchenkova, who has slipped to world number 333 after being forced to stop playing completely for around five months last year, is the lowest-ranked French Open quarter-finalist in the Open Era.
Khachanov, the 11th seed, also showed plenty of resolve as he battled past Italian Lorenzo Sonego 1-6 6-4 7-6(7) 6-1 to reach the last eight for the second time.
"After the first set and a half, I was thinking, what am I doing here, he was hitting all over the place so I decided all I could do was fight," said Khachanov, who has reached the semi-finals in his last two Grand Slams in New York and Melbourne.
There were dramatic scenes on Court 14 as Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi were disqualified from their women's doubles third-round match after Kato struck a ball down the court between points and hit a ball girl to leave her sobbing.
Kato was initially warned by chair umpire Alexandre Juge but Czech Marie Bouzkova and Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, who were leading 7-6(1) 1-3 at the time of the incident, pointed out to him that the ball girl was crying.
"No, no, let me explain to you. She (Kato) didn't do it on purpose, she (the ball girl) didn't get injured," Juge said.
"She (Kato) didn't do it on purpose? She's crying," Sorribes Tormo said, pointing to the ball girl.
"And she has blood," Bouzkova added.
After speaking to the girl, the umpire went back up to his chair and announced the end of the match by disqualifying Kato and Sutjiadi to spark boos from the crowd.
- French Open