PARIS (AP) — The Latest from the French Open:
Kei Nishikori has reached his first French Open quarterfinal after easing past Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, becoming only the second Japanese player to reach the last eight at Roland Garros after Jiro Satoh got to the semifinals in 1931 and 1933.
It will be a third Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance for the 25-year-old Nishikori, a U.S. Open runner-up last year who also reached the Australian Open quarters in 2012.
Next up for Nishikori is either fourth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych or No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. Their fourth-round match is into a tense third set on center court, with Tsonga leading 2-0.
Defending champion Maria Sharapova will need to wait until Monday to try to take another step toward what would be a third French Open title in four years.
Because more than 2 1/2 hours of rain delayed play earlier Sunday, tournament organizers postponed the last two women’s fourth-round matches on the schedule: Sharapova against 13th-seeded Lucie Safarova at Court Suzanne Lenglen, and No. 21 Garbine Muguruza vs. No. 28 Flavia Pennetta at Court Philippe Chatrier.
After enjoying three days of rest, Kei Nishikori of Japan looks fresh and full of energy in his fourth-round match against Teymuraz Gabashvili.
Nishikori has raced into a 5-2 lead in the first set, and has been pinning his Russian opponent back with some clean winners on Suzanne Lenglen court.
It’s hardly surprising that Nishikori look so sprightly, given how much time the fifth-seeded Japanese player had off.
After winning his second-round match on Wednesday, Nishikori advanced to the second week without hitting a ball when his third-round opponent, Benjamin Becker, pulled out of the tournament because of a muscle tear in his right shoulder.
Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina has reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal after finally getting the better of French hope Alize Cornet 6-2, 7-6 (9).
Cornet, playing in the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time, saved five match points before the 19th-seeded Svitolina clinched victory when Cornet’s backhand went long.
The 20-year-old Svitolina next plays 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic, while Cornet must wait a little longer before reaching the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time.
She lost her temper near the end, remonstrating with the umpire over a shot that was called out.
Cornet complained to the umpire, saying “you look in my eyes and you know it” was in. She also dared the umpire to “give me a warning after you stole me a point.”
Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic is into the French Open quarterfinals for the first time since winning the tournament in 2008, after beating ninth-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.
The seventh-seeded Serb blew kisses to the camera and then waved to the Suzanne Lenglen crowd to loud cheers.
Ivanovic next faces either 19th-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine or French hope Alize Cornet.
Under the watchful eye of Bayern Munich star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, former champion Ana Ivanovic is into a third set against Ekaterina Makarova.
Schweinsteiger, who helped Germany win the soccer World Cup last year, has been present at the Serb’s matches this week at Roland Garros.
The seventh-seeded Ivanovic, who won here at Roland Garros in 2008 the year after losing the final, is in a topsy-turvy tussle with Makarova, a Russian player seeded ninth.
Ivanovic clinched the first set 7-5 but Makarova has bounced back to win the second set 6-3 in windy conditions.
Play has resumed at the French Open after a rain delay of 2 hours, 40 minutes.
Cheers could be heard from fans on center court and the ball boys smiled as the court covers came off and the players walked back out.
As they waited to come out, 19th-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and local hope Alize Cornet kept busy.
Cornet jogged up and down on the spot while Svitolina did some stretching.
Cornet, who is seeded 29th and playing in the fourth round for the first time, lost the first point and now trails 4-0 in the first set.
The rain has eased and Roland Garros ground crews are now sweeping water off the court covers. It’s been more than two hours now that play has been suspended but it looks like matches will be resuming soon.
Unlike at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, there is no roof over the center court at the clay-court Grand Slam. A retractable roof is expected to be ready in 2019. Until then, let’s hope for a bit of sunshine.
There is at least one person who will enjoy the first rain delay of what is expected to be a wet day at Roland Garros.
Local hope Alize Cornet was off to a bad start in her fourth-round match against 19th-seeded Elina Svitolina on center court, trailing 3-0 after dropping her serve twice when their match was suspended after 21 minutes. The rain gives her the chance to refocus in the locker room as she bids to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
On court Suzanne Lenglen, former Roland Garros champion Ana Ivanovic was up 3-2 against Ekaterina Makarova before ground crews rolled the covers over the red clay.
The big losers on Sunday at Roland Garros could be the fans as weather forecasts don’t look good at all.
Covers have been removed on the two courts where big matches are taking place Sunday, but showers could break within the next hour according to the latest forecast.
With clouds rolling on over Paris, many of the fans that arrived early at the Roland Garros stadium have been wise enough to bring umbrellas and raincoats
Good news for now is that play has started on time after ground crews put finishing touches to the courts. Local local favorite Alize Cornet faces Elina Svitolina on court Philippe Chatrier and former champion Ana Ivanovic is up against Ekaterina Makarova on court Suzanne Lenglen.