French Open lookahead: Nadal faces player his uncle coaches

·3-min read


Rafael Nadal knows the coach of his fourth-round opponent at Roland Garros rather well: It's Toni Nadal, Rafael's uncle and former longtime coach. Uncle Toni, as he's often called, began working part-time with Felix Auger-Aliassime last season. That's just one reason this is an intriguing matchup on Sunday at Court Philippe Chatrier. Nadal is a 13-time champion at the French Open and owns a men's-record 21 Grand Slam titles. And even though he has dealt with chronic pain in his left foot recently, and a rib injury earlier this season, he is still considered the King of Clay and has not dropped a set leading into the contest against Auger-Aliassime, a 21-year-old Canadian who was a semifinalist at last year's U.S. Open and is seeded ninth in Paris. Both players say they don't expect there to be any awkwardness; Auger-Aliassime said Toni Nadal would sit in a neutral location, rather than in either competitor's guest box. Over at Court Suzanne Lenglen, defending champion Novak Djokovic will face 15th-seeded Diego Schwartzman. If Nadal and Djokovic both win, they would play each other in the quarterfinals, making for a 59th head-to-head matchup, adding to their professional era record for the most meetings between two men. Three American women are in fourth-round action Sunday: 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens vs. No. 23 Jil Teichmann of Switzerland, 18-year-old Coco Gauff vs. No. 31 Elise Mertens of Belgium, and 20-year-old Amanda Anisimova vs. 2021 U.S. Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez of Canada.


Partly cloudy. High of 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 Celsius).


Women’s Third Round: No. 1 Iga Swiatek beat Danka Kovinic 6-3, 7-5; No. 29 Veronika Kudermetova beat No. 3 Paula Badosa 6-3, 2-1, retired; No. 28 Camila Giorgi beat No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka 4-6, 6-1, 6-0; No. 11 Jessica Pegula beat No. 24 Tamara Zidansek 6-1, 7-6 (2); No. 22 Madison Keys beat No. 16 Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3); No. 20 Daria Kasatkina beat Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-2; Zheng Qinwen beat Alize Cornet 6-0, 3-0, retired; Irina-Camelia Begu beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-4.

Men’s Third Round: No. 2 Daniil Medvedev beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4, 6-2, 6-2; No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Mikael Ymer 6-2, 6-2 6-1; No. 7 Andrey Rublev beat Cristian Garin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (11); No. 8 Casper Ruud beat No. 32 Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 6-7 (3), 1-6, 6-4, 6-3; No. 11 Jannik Sinner beat Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-3; No. 12 Hubert Hurkacz beat David Goffin 7-5, 6-2, 6-1; No. 20 Marin Cilic beat Gilles Simon 6-0, 6-3, 6-2; Holger Rune beat Hugo Gaston 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.


11 — Set points saved by Jannik Sinner in the second set of his victory over Mackenzie McDonald.


“I had a feeling like, ‘OK, she’s No. 1. I have to put a little more pressure on her.’” — Danka Kovinic, about facing Iga Swiatek, who won their match to extend her winning streak to 31 matches.


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