Matteo Arnaldi flusters sixth-seeded Andrey Rublev in Paris

League: Tennis

Posted on: 01 Jun, 2024 at 12:36 AM

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Italian Matteo Arnaldi recorded a 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-4 victory over sixth-seeded Andrey Rublev on Friday to reach the fourth round of the French Open in Paris.

Arnaldi, 23, saved a set point while trailing in the first-set tiebreak before winning the next three points to end the set. All told, he notched 47 winners to fluster the Russian while matching his longest run in a Grand Slam event. Arnaldi also reached the fourth round of last year's U.S. Open.

"I was really nervous at the end because I was going to serve for the match for one of the biggest wins of my life," Arnaldi said. "But I managed it really well. ... I was focused on myself and doing the right thing."

While Arnaldi was jubilant, Rublev had significant trouble controlling his emotions. He was visibly upset and even kicked his courtside bench.

"Completely disappointed with myself the way I behaved, the way I performed, and I don't remember behaving worse (at) a Slam ever," Rublev said. "I think it was first time I ever behave that bad. Not much to say."

Arnaldi will face No. 9 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the next round. Tsitsipas beat China's Zhang Zhizhen 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

Also on Friday, second-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy advanced into the fourth round following a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory against Pavel Kotov of Russia. Sinner also defeated Kotov in Madrid last month.

"I think it was very different. Every situation on the court was much different to Madrid," Sinner said. "I just tried to stay very focused on my game. Thanks (to the crowd) for all the support, it's amazing to play here on this court. I really enjoy it."

Sinner sent Kotov packing after two hours and 27 minutes following an ace on match point. He advanced to face Frenchman Corentin Moutet, who rallied to beat Austria's Sebastian Ofner 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.

The last match of the night saw No. 3 seed Carlos Alcaraz take down No. 27 seed Sebastian Korda 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Korda saved 8 of 12 break points, but Alcaraz won 72.9 percent of his first-service points (51 of 70).

"Today was a more demanding match for me," said Alcaraz, who recently returned from a forearm injury. "... I think during the whole match, I hit my forehand really well, with more intensity. In the second set tiebreak I hit (some good forehands). I miss this kind of forehand, this kind of moments. I felt really well after those shots."

--Field Level Media