American Pegula fights back to reach French Open quarterfinals

PARIS – Jessica Pegula has made it to the French Open quarterfinals for the first time by coming back to beat Irina-Camelia Begu 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Pegula joins two other American women in the quarterfinals in Paris. Coco Gauff and Sloane Stephens face each other on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Pegula is seeded 11th at Roland Garros. Her two previous runs to the round of eight at Grand Slam tournaments came at the Australian Open — this January and last year. Pegula arrived in Paris with a 2-3 career record at the clay-court major, with one third-round appearance. She needed 10 match points to close out her first-round victory and eight in the second round last week.

Pegula, whose parents own the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, will play either No. 1 Iga Swiatek or 74th-ranked Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen in the quarterfinals. Begu is a 31-year-old from Romania who is ranked 63rd and fell to 0-3 in fourth-round matches at majors. She was fined $10,000 earlier during this French Open after she threw her racket, which bounced into the stands and brushed a child in the stands. Begu had won both of her past two meetings against Pegula in straight sets.

Danish teenager Holger Rune has eliminated 2021 French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach his first major quarterfinal in his Roland Garros debut. The 40th-ranked Rune beat fourth-seeded Tsitsipas 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at Court Philippe Chatrier on Monday. Rune will play No. 8 seed Casper Ruud of Norway, who has reached the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career by beating Hubert Hurkacz 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Veronika Kudermetova reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Madison Keys, ending the chances of four American women reaching the last eight at the French Open for the first time in two decades. Kudermetova will face Daria Kasatkina, who has matched her best performance in a major by reaching the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Camila Giorgi.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal didn’t get his preference on the timing of his blockbuster quarterfinal match against top-ranked Novak Djokovic at the French Open. The 13-time champion at Roland Garros wanted a day match Tuesday to avoid the slightly slower conditions on the clay courts at night. But organizers have made it the marquee night match on Day 10, scheduled to start at 8:45 pm local time, after negotiating with rights-holding broadcasters to ensure all viewers in France can watch coverage of the the match for free. Nadal got through a five-set win over Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round on Sunday to set up a record 59th matchup against Djokovic.

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