French Open Day 9 recap: Halep topples Stephens; Nadal, Ferrer will meet again
PARIS -- The quarterfinals are set at Roland Garros. Simona Halep, the top women's seed, asserts her dominance against Sloane Stephens to book a spot in the final eight, while Sara Errani and Andrea Petkovic both fought off their opponents (Jelena Jankovic and Kiki Bertens, respectively) and moved on. Andy Murray didn't let exhaustion from his epic five-setter get to him and took down Fernando Verdasco, and Frenchman Gael Monfils easily beat Guillermo Garcia Lopez. Finally, we'll see a rematch of last year's men's final, as Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer will meet in the quarterfinals.
Simona Halep was too good for Sloane Stephens: Halep backed up her position as the highest-remaining seed in the women's draw, beating the American 6-4, 6-3 to advance to her second-straight Grand Slam quarterfinal -- her first at Roland Garros. Against Stephens, the No. 4-seed showed off her consistency and confidence in tight moments, proving why she's risen up the rankings so quickly in the last 12 months. Stephens played well, but just not good enough to pull off the upset.
"She beat me in Australia on hard [courts], but I remember that I beat her in Barcelona on clay court a long time ago," Halep said. "But it was good for me because I knew how to play on clay. She's better I think on hard court. I'm better on clay. So I had [the] advantage. I think I managed very well the match. I opened the angles. I wanted [her] to run a lot on court. I think I played aggressive. I dominated the match, I think."
You're not wrong, Simona. She'll play Svetlana Kuznetosva next, who beat Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer meet again: We'll have a rematch of last year's final in the quarterfinals this year, as Nadal dropped just four games against No. 83 Dusan Lajovic, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-1. In fact, the Golden Set was on in the second, with Nadal winning the first 17 points before Lajovic finally got on the board. The No. 1 Spaniard has lost just 23 games heading into the quartersfinal, the lowest number since 2012, when he lost just 19 in that same time. Ferrer dropped a set to Kevin Anderson before winning 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1.
Andy Murray and Gael Monfils set for an entertaining quarterfinal: It was a straight-set win for Murray over Fernando Verdasco, winning 6-4 7-5, 7-6 (3), but it was far from easy or straightforward. Verdasco was fired up for this one, pegging Murray at the net in the third set, and then losing his cool with umpire Pascal Maria after a line call and demanding to see the supervisor. Murray actually diffused the situation by telling the umpire to just give Verdasco the point, then went on to outplay the Spaniard in the final tiebreaker. You should have seen the grin on Murray's face when he spoke after the match with Fabrice Santoro about the prospect of playing Monfils in the next round. The Frenchman rolled through Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-0, 6-1, 7-5.
Sara Errani fought off Jelena Jankovic: It wasn't easy, but Errani overcame a hobbled Jankovic -- she called an injury timeout in the first set to get her leg treated -- to win 7-6 (5), 6-2. She'll face Andrea Petkovic, who is into her fourth-career Grand Slam final after beating Kiki Bertens 1-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Photo of the day
Photo of the day: Prince edition
Celebration of the day
Geek of the day
The award goes to Andrea Petkovic, who called out a reporter for a sexist question and then when asked about her love for philosophy and books said this:
Well, I have two favorite authors. One is Goethe, which is our ‑‑ well, for me, the greatest genius with words. Unfortunately, if you cannot speak German, it's not so easy to appreciate that. And David Foster Wallace is the other one that I just started reading actually a couple of months ago and I'm totally amazed by him. I think he's one of the greatest.
Philosopher‑wise, Friedrich Nietzsche is the one that impressed me most. I don't necessarily agree with everything he says and it's very dark and sad, but he was a good writer, too. I actually really liked the existentialists in French. I read a lot of Sartre and Camus.
Tweets of the day
Look who's going to training with me :) #RG14 @rolandgarros @PeugeotFR #NoleFam pic.twitter.com/SYbP3lkxo7
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) June 2, 2014
Sloane has done everything that Simona has done in this match, just a little bit worse.
— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports) June 2, 2014
Gulp. Spanish king just abdicated his throne. Bad omen for the Spanish clay tennis king?
— Tom Perrotta (@TomPerrotta) June 2, 2014
This press exchange with Petko is gold. "That was sexist..." pic.twitter.com/3iu4CnHDxg
— Blair Henley (@BlairHenley) June 2, 2014
Stephens (last US singles player), Bryans (top seeds in doubles) Tiafoe (top seed in Boys) all lose. #MERICA didn't have a great day. #RG14 — Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 2, 2014