Marin Cilic, Juan Martin del Potro canter into French Open fourth round
Marin Cilic brought out his A-game to swiftly dispatch hapless American Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the third round of the French Open on Saturday.
The Croatian third seed whipped nine aces and 35 winners past Johnson to reach the last 16 for the fifth time in 12 visits.
Those fans packed into the intimate Court One bullring might have hoped for a longer contest than the 94-minute drubbing but the Croatian made sure not everyone went away disappointed.
One fan in the stands was left buzzing with excitement after Cilic handed over a neatly folded official towel as a memento.
Cilic will next face Italian showman Fabio Fognini for a place in the quarter-finals.
Del Potro powers on
Juan Martin del Potro fired a menacing warning to those already writing Rafael Nadal’s name on the French Open trophy with a bludgeoning 7-5 6-4 6-1 third-round defeat of Spanish claycourter Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Saturday.
The seemingly unstoppable Nadal might be the red-hot favourite to claim an 11th title at Roland Garros next weekend but Argentine powerhouse Del Potro could prove a significant obstacle in the semi-finals.
The way the fifth seed overwhelmed Ramos-Vinolas on Court Philippe Chatrier with his serve and forehand working like clockwork will not have gone unnoticed in the Nadal camp.
“I think I was a bit lucky in the first set because Albert made me run a lot, but I had control of the match in the end and played well in the right moments,” Del Potro said.
“I’m playing better every day. Claycourt is not my favourite but I’m enjoying playing here.”
Del Potro was given a fight in the first set but after squandering a 5-3 lead he broke Ramos-Vinolas in the 12th game to move ahead.
There was still plenty of resistance in the second set but Del Potro piled on the pressure as Ramos-Vinolas served at 4-5 and pulled two sets clear.
The third was a formality as del Potro moved into the last 16 on the Paris clay for the first time since 2012.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- That means they won't be allowed to leave their hotel rooms or practice for 14 days, creating a two-speed preparation period for the tournament. Other players in less rigorous quarantine will be allowed to practice for five hours daily.
- Health authorities confirmed there'd been three positive tests for COVID-19 returned on Saturday, and another on Sunday. None of the cases have so far involved players.
- None of the Indian players has been impacted, the statements said.