French Open: Gauff win battle of ages


Paris : Coco Gauff, he youngest player left in the French Open, made the last 16 on Friday with a straight-sets win over Kaia Kanepi, the oldest woman in the tournament at 36. Gauff, the 18-year-old 18th seed, triumphed 6-3, 6-4 to reach the fourth round for a second successive year having enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals in 2021.

Kanepi, ranked 46, was the junior champion at Roland Garros in 2001, three years before Gauff was born. Gauff defeated the Estonian on her way to the Parma clay court title in 2021 and goes on to face Belgium’s Elise Mertens for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Former world number one Simona Halep crashed out in the second round of the French Open as she failed to find a way past the aggressive game of Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen and fell to a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 loss. I have been working really hard, and it was really nice, that was my best performance. I am happy today, Zheng said in an interview on court. Controversy erupted at the French Open after Romanian player Irina-Camelia Begu inadvertently flung her racquet into the crowd in frustration and left a little boy in tears.

Begu had just gone down a break in the deciding third set against 30th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova when she threw her racquet and watched in horror as it bounced into the crowd.

FRIDAY’S KEY RESULTS

Women’s Third Round: No. 17 Leylah Fernandez beat No. 14 Belinda Bencic 7-5, 3-6, 7-5; No. 23 Jil Teichmann beat No. 15 Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5); No. 18 Coco Gauff beat Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-4; Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat No. 21 Angelique Kerber 6-4, 7-6 (5); No. 27 Amanda Anisimova beat Karolina Muchova 6-7 (7), 6-2, 3-0 retired; No. 31 Elise Mertens beat Varvara Gracheva 6-2; 6-3; Sloane Stephens beat Diane Parry 6-2, 6-3; Martina Trevisan beat Daria Saville 6-3, 6-4.

MEN’S THIRD ROUND

No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-3, 6-2; No. 3 Alexander Zverev beat Brandon Nakashima 7-6 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (5); No. 5 Rafael Nadal beat Botic Van De Zandschulp 6-3, 6-2, 6-4; No. 6 Carlos Alcaraz beat No. 27 Sebastian Korda 6-4, 6-4, 6-2; No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2), 7-5; No. 21 Karen Khachanov beat No. 10 Cameron Norrie 6-2, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.