French Open 2016, Day 8: Muguruza, Rogers, Murray, Wawrinka into quarters
Results and reports from day 8 at Roland Garros.
World number two Andy Murray and defending champion Stan Wawrinka reached the French Open quarter-finals Sunday as Richard Gasquet kept alive hopes of a first home triumph in 33 years by knocking out Japan`s Kei Nishikori.
Murray made the last-eight for the sixth time with a 7-6 (11/9), 6-4, 6-3 win over John Isner of the United States.
The 29-year-old, a three-time semi-finalist, will face Gasquet, the last French player standing, in the last-eight.
Murray has a 7-3 career lead over the 29-year-old Gasquet, including wins at Roland Garros in 2010 and 2012.
Gasquet outplayed fifth seed Nishikori 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.
The ninth seed had trailed Nishikori 2-4 early in the first set, but after an hour-long rain delay, he won nine out of the next 10 games to turn the match on its head.
"I started badly, but everyone helped me and it was difficult for Nishikori to play against that," he said.
"He re-started badly (after the rain) and that gave me confidence to play my game and go for my shots."
The last French winner of the men`s singles title at Roland Garros was Yannick Noah in 1983.
Murray will be playing in his 20th quarter-final at the last 21 majors after braving an Isner storm in the first set where he faced down three set points in the tie-breaker.
Isner was bidding to become the first American man in the last-eight in Paris since Andre Agassi in 2003.
Having not allowed Murray a single break point, the 31-year-old squandered the three set points before the British star pounced to pocket the opener.
Rain forced the pair off Suzanne Lenglen court for an hour with Murray 2-1 ahead in the second set before Isner was broken for the first time in the 10th game.
Murray broke for 3-1 in the third while Isner clung on saving two more break points in the sixth game.
But the world number two wrapped up victory -- and his sixth win in six clashes with the big American -- with his ninth ace of the tie.
Isner was undone by Murray`s superior returning which contributed to his 57 unforced errors.
Murray said he had wanted the match halted earlier as the rain made conditions dangerous.
"I know it`s difficult sometimes when the right time to stop is, but I think on clay courts that the players really need to be the ones that kind of decide that," he said.
"If they don`t feel comfortable then you have to stop, because it`s a surface if you get that wrong you can hurt yourself."
Wawrinka, the third seed, saw off Serbia`s Viktor Troicki 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, 6-2 for his 11th straight win in the year`s second Grand Slam.
He will next face a Spanish left-hander who isn`t named Rafael Nadal after unheralded Albert Ramos-Vinolas reached his first Grand Slam last-eight with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic.
Sunday was a fifth win in five meetings for Wawrinka over Serbia`s Troicki whose challenge fizzled out following a right thigh injury at 4-1 down in the third set.
"It was far from easy with tough conditions -- heavy and cold, but I am happy to have come through it," 31-year-old Wawrinka said.
Ramos-Vinolas, 28, had never got beyond the second round of any major before this Roland Garros and had failed to win a match at the tournament since 2011.
But the world number 55, who is only his country`s ninth best player, ensured a left-hander from Spain would be in the last-eight after the injury-enforced withdrawal of nine-time champion Nadal.
"I had lost four times in a row here so I am very happy," said the shock winner who had also won just four matches in his entire career at the majors before coming to Paris.
"I played a great match. I think the cloudy conditions helped me as they made the court slower."
He trails Wawrinka 6-0 in career meetings including last week in Geneva where he won just two games.
"Wawrinka is the titleholder. He`s hugely powerful. Last week I played him, and he won very easily," said Ramos-Vinolas whose only other previous win over a top 10 player was against Roger Federer in Shanghai in 2015.
In the women's section, Garbine Muguruza of Spain blazed into quarter-finals for the third straight year today, defeating former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-4.
The 22-year-old Venezuelan-born fourth seed will next play world number 108 Shelby Rogers of the United States who defeated Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania by the same score 6-3, 6-4.
The two other scheduled fourth round ties were left unfinished when heavy rain started to fall late in the evening.
At that point, second seed Agnieszka Radwanska was 6-2, 3-0 up on Bulgaria`s Tsvetana Pironkova and sixth seed Simona Halep of Romania was leading Australian veteran Samantha Stosur 5-3.
"At the end it is always very tough. She is a player with a lot of experience and I just had to be there," said Muguruza of her win over Kuznetsova.
"Quarter-finals is a great run and I am looking forward to improving my (best) result here."
Muguruza is seen as one of the new stars of the women`s game after a breakthrough season in 2015 when she was runner-up to Serena Williams at Wimbledon and made the semis at the WTA Finals.
But in 30-year-old Kuznetsova she was up against one of the wiliest and experienced players on the women`s circuit with two Grand Slam titles to her name -- the 2004 US Open and the 2009 French Open.
Both players had early break points on a sparsely-filled Philippe Chatrier centre court in a match of high quality.
And it was the Spaniard who struck first in the eighth game powering in a fine backhand return past the Russian to move 5-3 up.
She then served out comfortably for the set in 46 minutes.
Muguruza kept up the pressure and broke Kuznetsova`s serve twice at the start of the second set, although she dropped her own in between.
The Russian pulled back to level at 4-4, but it was Muguruza who rose to the occasion taking the next two games and clinching the win on her fifth match point.
Quarter-final opponent Rogers is just the ninth woman outside of the top 100 to make the last eight in Paris since 1983.
It will be her first appearance in a Grand Slam last-eight.
"It`s incredible and I`m really happy that it didn`t start raining," said Rogers who broke down in tears after the match and had to borrow a handkerchief from television interviewer Marion Bartoli, the former Wimbledon champion.
"I always dreamed of this when I was a little girl in Charleston but never really thought I would reach the quarter-finals in Paris."
Rogers has now beaten three seeds in her run at Roland Garros having seen off 17th seed Karolina Pliskova in the first round and 10th seed Petra Kvitova in the last 32.
Halep`s match with 32-year-old Stosur brought up a clash of two former runners-up Stosur lost to Francesca Schiavone in the 2010 final and Halep lost to Maria Sharapova two years ago.
They have played each other seven times with Halep 4-3 ahead having won their last four encounters, the last of which was a 6-2, 6-0 pounding in the Madrid Open semi-finals earlier this month.
Radwanska, meanwhile, enjoyed a 9-2 career stranglehold on the 28-year-old Pironkova, who has reached the fourth round in Paris for the first time.
But the world number 102 has already knocked out two seeds on her way to the last-16 -- Sara Errani and Sloane Stephens.
Radwanska, a Wimbledon finalist in 2012, is seeking to reach the last eight at Roland Garros for just the second time.
The biggest win of her career came in Singapore late last year when she won the season-ending WTA Finals.