Teenager Jannik Sinner struck a blow at the French Open for the new generation by beating US Open finalist Alexander Zverev, who announced that he was playing amid a fever. Early in the fourth round, the German called for the doctor, but played on before losing 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3 to Sinner, a 19-year-old Italian.
Players are routinely tested for Covid-19 at Roland Garros, and a positive test means disqualification from the tournament, but it was still harrowing to hear Zverev explain potential symptoms of Covid. Alexander Zverev throws his racket to the ground during his loss to Jannik Sinner (Christophe Ena/AP) He said, “I’m completely sick. I can’t breathe properly, as you can hear in my voice. I also had a fever. The fifth seed, who was criticized for going to a party after saying he would isolate himself following this summer’s disastrous Adriatic Tour, refused to say whether he was worried about having covid. He showed with his win at the Next Gen ATP Finals last year that his explosive game and fearlessness make him a hugely exciting talent, and it didn’t take long for him to show that on a Grand Slam stage.The future is bright @janniksin is the first man to reach the Final 8 on debut since Nadal, his closest opponent, in 2005. He defeated Zverev 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3.#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/FWqif1NIt8- Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) October 4, 2020This is the Italian’s debut at Roland Garros and he will get a chance to test himself against Rafael Nadal after surviving a series of close matches in the fourth set.His celebrations were understated throughout the tournament and he said, ” I’m very relaxed, even though inside I’m quite happy and I don’t show that much. “But there is still a lot of work to do. Physically, technically, everything. It’s a long way to go. I’m very happy to have reached the quarterfinals. “Sinner is the first Roland Garros debutant to make it this far since Nadal won his first title in 2005, and since Novak Djokovic 14 years ago, the youngest man to reach the quarterfinals at a Slam. Alexander Zverev had a very uncomfortable afternoon against Jannik Sinner (Christophe Ena/AP) In the fourth round, Sinner does not want to see a replay of Nadal’s success against another rising young player, Sebastian Korda. Korda, 20, idolizes Nadal so much that he named his cat after him, but the Spaniard was in a ruthless mood, enabling the American to win just four games in a 6-1 6-1 6-2 win. Nadal grew up watching former Australian Open champion Korda’s father, Petr, who said that his son would have the experience of playing in Nadal’s living room. As Korda’s only real chance came early in the third set when he led 2-0, it definitely looked that way, only for Nadal to reel off six straight games. However, the outcome could not ruin the fun for Korda, who enjoyed Nadal’s shots even as they sailed past him, and took the opportunity to ask his hero for an autograph (Sebastian Korda/Instagram). Korda said, “Since I was a kid, I was in love with him and everything about him. He almost hit a forehand around the net and I was kind of begging for it to go in because that would have been the coolest thing ever. And then he hit a running forehand winner over me at the line. I don’t know if anyone ever asked him for an autograph after a match, but that was definitely the coolest moment of my life that I’ll never forget. ” “I’m in the quarter-finals without having lost a set and with very positive results,” he said. “So I can’t complain at all. I’m very happy with the way I’m playing and the practices I feel a little bit better and better every time.”