Paris: It’s not often that a tennis player calls being on the wrong end of a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 Grand Slam result ‘‘super awesome’’ or ‘‘definitely the best moment of my life.’’
It’s also rather rare for a player to go up to the net and ask the guy who just beat him for an autographed shirt.
Sebastian Korda, the 20-year-old American qualifier who lost to Rafael Nadal by the above scoreline in the French Open’s fourth round Sunday, still was beaming afterward.
‘‘Ever since I was a kid, I mean, I was in love with him and everything about him. I would watch every single match. Doesn’t matter who he was playing or what tournament he was playing. He was the guy for me,’’ said Korda, whose cat is named after the 12-time champion at Roland Garros. ‘‘It was an unbelievable moment for me and I couldn’t have written it any better.’’
Imagine how he might have reacted if he’d been in the room for Nadal’s post-match news conference, when this assessment of Korda was offered: ‘‘I really predict that he going to have a very good future.’’
The 213th-ranked Korda was the youngest American man to make it to the fourth round in Paris since 1991 and made sure to soak up every moment in Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday, even if wind that kept kicking loose dirt off the clay surface felt ``like a tornado, sometimes,’’ he said.
After feeling tight in warm-ups, Korda - whose father, Petr, won the 1998 Australian Open and was a finalist at the 1992 French Open, and whose mother, Regina, was ranked in the Top 30 - loosened up and hung in there with Nadal at the outset.
Zverev has fever, feels breathless
US Open runner-up Alexander Zverev complained of a slight fever and shortness of breath after his fourth-round loss at Roland Garros, but neither tournament organisers nor his opponent Sunday seemed too concerned.
‘‘I shouldn’t have played,’’ Zverev said after 19-year-old Jannik Sinner won 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals in his tournament debut. ‘‘I’m completely sick. I can’t really breathe, as you can hear by my voice.’’
About 3,000 coronavirus tests have been conducted by the French tennis federation, which put players in two Paris hotels. Players wear masks when they walk into arenas for their matches, and when they leave after, but not during play” they generally tap rackets instead of shaking hands when the contests end.
The tournament said Zverev did not consult its doctors before Sunday’s match, despite the symptoms he described afterward, including a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) the previous night.
In other men’s singles match, Austrian Thiem had to escape a five-set thriller to overcome local star Hugo Gaston 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 6-3. He will play 12th seed Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.
In women’s singles, 19-year-old Iga Swiatek produced a scintillating performance to defeat top seed Simona Halep 6-1, 6-2 in the fourth round match that lasted 68 minutes.
Swiatek will face world number 159 Martina Trevisan who stunned another title favorite Kiki Bertens 6-4, 6-4.
In other match, Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina registered a 6-1, 6-3 win against local hope Caroline Garcia to secure a spot in the last eight where she will face Nadia Podoroska.