With a week played at Roland Garros, the quarterfinals are starting to take shape. Richard Gasquet continues to fly the French flag at home; Andy Murray went through in three sets, Stan Wawrinka needed four.
Ninth seed Richard Gasquet thanked the excited Court Philippe Chatrier crowd on Sunday after his four-set victory over Japan's Kei Nishikori. The sole surviving French player in the singles draw, seeking to end the home country's 33-year drought at tennis' French Open, collapsed on his back after reaching the quarterfinals for the first time in 13 attempts.
"The crowd put the pressure on him," Gasquet said of his opponent Nishikori. "It was probably not easy for him to play with that crowd."
Cheered on by shouts of "allez Richard!" between points, Gasquet even implored the exuberant crowd to "shut your traps" at one moment, when cheerleading threatened to morph into ramping up the pressure on the 29-year-old.
Gasquet prevailed 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-2, and he moves on to face Scotland's Andy Murray in the quarters, where he might need the crowd's assistance once more.
Murray in straight sets, Wawrinka in four
Murray remained unbeaten in his career against American John Isner on Sunday, although he had to stave off three set points in the opening tie-breaker before going on to win 7-6(9) 6-4 6-3.
"Obviously the atmosphere [against Gasquet] will be tough, but I don't mind that," Murray said. "I played a number of times against French players here in difficult atmospheres and I managed OK."
Defending champ Stan Wawrinka needed an extra set on the clay to dispatch Viktor Troicki 7-6(5) 6-7(7) 6-3 6-2 in the damp and cloudy Parisian conditions.
Tearful afterwards, Rogers confessed that it doesn't take much to get her welling up with tears on more normal days
Wawrinka will face a shock inclusion in the last eight. Unseeded left-handed Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas bested Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic 6-2 6-4 6-4 to reach the quarters. This followed four successive first-round exits at Roland Garros for Ramos-Vinolas.
Rogers defying the odds, Kuznetsova eliminated
In the women's singles, world number 108 Shelby Rogers continued her incredible tournament run, beating Romania's Irina Begu 6-3 6-4 to back up her upset against Petra Kvitova in the previous round.
Rogers will face fourth seed Garbine Muguruza in the quarters on Tuesday. Muguruza beat 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 6-3 to progress. The 22-year-old Spaniard is entering her third consecutive French Open quarterfinal.
"This is where I have stopped in the past, which means I'm extremely motivated to move on," she said.
msh/dv (AFP, AP, Reuters)