Teenage sensation Holger Rune has outmuscled world No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the French Open.
He next meets Casper Ruud who reached the first grand slam quarter-final of his career by beating Hubert Hurkacz 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-3 .
The eighth-seeded Ruud is the first man from Norway to get to this stage in Paris.
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Dane Rune, who has improved more than 350 places in the world rankings in the past 15 months, joins fellow 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz in the last eight, the first time two teenagers made that stage at a grand slam since 1994.
“I have an unbelievable feeling. I was so nervous in the end,” said a beaming Rune, playing in his first French Open. “I was very nervous. I told myself to keep at it and play my plan. I mean it is so great to still be here.”
“Part of the tactic to play as aggressive as possible when he gets shorter balls he attacks them. I really liked playing the drop shots and it worked out pretty good so I am happy.”
Tsitsipas, last-year’s French Open finalist, started well and broke the Dane to go 3-1 up when Rune’s drop shot was not short enough and the Greek whipped a cross-court winner past him.
Rune, however, broke him twice, clinching the set with a disputed line call that went in his favour.
The teenager went 2-1 up in sets when Tsitsipas did well to return a Rune smash but then fired a topspin forehand into the net.
The Dane succeeded in getting Tsitsipas out of his comfort zone on the baseline, sending his tall opponent to the net with drop points and stretching him wide off the court with deep cross-court balls.
Rune did show some nerves as a 5-2 fourth set lead went to 5-4 with break points against, but he made sure of his big win on the first match point just as the clock ticked past the three hour mark.
Tuesday’s highly-anticipated quarter-final between world No.1 Novak Djokovic and 13-time champion Rafa Nadal has been scheduled to be played during the controversial night session despite the Spaniard expressing reservations against it.
The night session, for which Amazon Prime has exclusive broadcasting rights in France, starts at 9 pm local time and was introduced for the first time at the 2021 edition of the claycourt major.
“I don’t like night sessions on clay. I am very clear with that,” Nadal, who enjoys a near mythical status at Roland Garros, where he has a statue erected in his honour, said last week.
“I don’t like to play on clay during the night because humidity is higher, the ball is slower and there can be very heavy conditions especially when it’s cold.”
Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev have both said they would not want their quarter-final, also on Tuesday, to be scheduled during the night session.
The match between the Spaniard and the German third seed was put as the third one on Court Philippe Chatrier.