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Novak Djokovic reacts after beating Diego Schwartzman in Paris. Photo: AFP

French Open: Djokovic eases into possible Nadal quarter final; Leylah Fernandez defeats Amanda Anisimova to advance

  • On an action-packed Sunday night in Paris, Leylah Fernandez advances to quarter finals while Novak Djokovic swept aside Diego Schwartzman
  • Hong Kong tennis rookie Coleman Wong gets his Roland Garros campaign under way against Swiss junior Kilian Feldbausch
French Open

Novak Djokovic’s title defence continued on Sunday with a clinical 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 win over No 15 seed Diego Schwartzman to reach his 13th consecutive Roland Garros quarter final.

Djokovic improved to 16-0 in fourth rounds here in Paris and awaits Rafael Nadal or Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last-eight stage.

The world No 1 is still to drop a set at Roland Garros after cruising through the first week.

Canada’s Leylah Fernandez celebrates after advancing to the quarter finals for the first time. Photo: Reuters

US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez won a baseline battle against American 27th seed Amanda Anisimova 6-3 4-6 6-3 to book her spot in the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time on Sunday.

The only other time the Canadian left-hander made the second week of a grand slam was during her run to the final at Flushing Meadows in 2021 when she lost to fellow teenager Emma Raducanu.

“Today was a very complicated game and I’m happy I managed to get through,” she said in an on-court interview, speaking in French.

“I knew she would fire a lot of winners and that I had to accept that and not get frustrated. I was so eager to get to play here. I’m happy all the hard work we’ve done, me, my father, paid off.”

Amanda Anisimova reacts during her fourth round match against Leylah Fernandez. Photo: Reuters

On an overcast and chilly morning on Court Philippe Chatrier, the 19-year-old Fernandez put pressure on Anisimova’s serve from the outset and quickly racked up a 4-0 lead, mixing deft drop shots with crushing forehands.

The 20-year-old Anisimova, known for her easy power behind her groundstrokes, managed to get two service breaks back to make it 3-5 but could not stop Fernandez from taking the opener.

Three years ago, Anisimova, seeded 27th seed this year, became the youngest American to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals since Jennifer Capriati in 1990.

After a quick bathroom break, Anisimova returned more focused, found a bit more control with her powerful groundstrokes and advanced to the net more often to break her opponent’s delivery twice to win the second set.

Anisimova had two breakpoint opportunities on Fernandez’s first service game in the deciding set but the Canadian served an ace and then hit three crushing winners to hold.

Fernandez got the crucial break in the fifth game to nose ahead in the riveting contest as the American made her frustration evident by throwing her racket away after sending a forehand long.

The Canadian broke again in the ninth, converting her second match point when Anisimova’s return did not make it past the net.

Fernandez will play Italian world number 59 Martina Trevisan, who beat 47th-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 7-6 (10) 7-5, for a place in the semi-finals.

Hong Kong tennis player Coleman Wong Chak-lam meets Swiss junior Kilian Feldbausch in his Roland Garros opener. Photo: Handout

The cream of the junior crop kick-started competition on Sunday at the Roland Garros Junior Championships. Among them was Hong Kong tennis rookie Coleman Wong Chak-lam who got his Roland Garros campaign under way overnight against Swiss junior Kilian Feldbausch.

Earlier this year Wong made history for Hong Kong after winning the Australian Open junior doubles, his second grand slam title after clinching the 2021 US Open junior boys’ doubles trophy.