(Reuters) – Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas moved a step closer in his quest to win his maiden Grand Slam as he entered the second week of the French Open, but he must first find a way past claycourt specialist Pablo Carreno Busta in the last-16 on Sunday.
Tsitsipas has impressed on the European claycourt swing this season — lifting his first ATP Masters title in Monte Carlo followed by another trophy in Lyon — and has more wins on the surface than any other player in 2021.
The 22-year-old was tested by American John Isner in the third round on Friday before he emerged victorious in four sets but Spain’s Carreno Busta has also enjoyed an impressive spell on the red dirt in the lead up to the Paris major.
The 12th seed won an ATP 250 event in Marbella before making a run to the semi-finals in Barcelona — where he was beaten by Rafa Nadal.
“I think that my level is going up,” said Carreno Busta, who has previously made two quarter-final appearances at Roland Garros. “Tsitsipas I think is leading the Race to Turin. So it will be interesting match. Very tough, for sure.”Most Recent
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Sixth seed Alexander Zverev and Kei Nishikori have already played twice this clay season and the Japanese will be hoping to be third time lucky in Paris after losing in Rome and Madrid.
Having never won a match at the claycourt Grand Slam in four previous appearances, Daniil Medvedev will look to break even when he takes on Chile’s Cristian Garin in the fourth round.
In the women’s draw, Elena Rybakina has earned a chance to take on her childhood idol Serena Williams for a place in the quarter-finals.
“The legend of the sport,” Rybakina said of the 23-times Grand Slam winner. “I want to be with her on the court, to feel this power and everything.
“Of course the goal is to win, so I’m going to do everything possible.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)