PARIS-Coco Gauff put aside a skinned knee and a bad stretch in the first set to reach the French Open quarterfinals for the third consecutive year with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Monday.
Next for Gauff could be a rematch against No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who beat the 19-year-old American in last year’s final at Roland Garros. Swiatek was scheduled to face Lesia Tsurenko in the fourth round later Monday. Gauff grabbed a 5-2 lead against Schmiedlova, but then things got more interesting. Gauff got broken while serving for the set at 5-2 and again at 5-4.
She helped the 100th-ranked Schmiedlova — who had never been past the third round at a major tournament — with a double-fault, then dumped a forehand into the net to end a 21-stroke exchange, making it 5-all. In the next game, Gauff stumbled on the slippery clay in sun-splashed but windy Court Philippe Chatrier, scraping her right knee.
After she gathered herself to claim that set, Gauff was visited by a trainer, who placed a white bandage just below her knee. The edges of that patch began to curl up as Gauff played, and she removed it soon after. The other women’s quarterfinal on the top half of the draw Wednesday will be No. 7 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia vs. No. 14 Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil.
Tuesday’s quarterfinals are Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka vs. Elina Svitolina, and 2021 French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkovs vs. Karolina Muchova. The only seeded player in the bunch is No. 2 Sabalenka.
Jabeur was the runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last season, but she exited the French Open in the first round and it was the only major at which she hadn’t been to the quarterfinals until now. She got there by beating Bernarda Pera, an American ranked 36th, 6-3, 6-1. Jabeur managed to win all eight of Pera’s service games, helped by taking 15 of 16 second-serve points. Pera didn’t help herself, either, by making 33 unforced errors to just 13 winners. “I was expecting her to play better,” Jabeur said.
Haddad Maia reached her first Slam quarterfinal by outlasting 132nd-ranked Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-5 in a fourth-rounder that lasted 3 hours, 51 minutes. Before this trip to Paris, Haddad Maia never had been past the second round at Roland Garros or any other Grand Slam tournament. Like Jabeur, Casper Ruud made his way to two Grand Slam championship matches last season. And like Jabeur, he came up short each time.
The No. 4-seeded Ruud, the 2022 runner-up to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros and to Carlos Alcaraz at the U.S. Open, returned to the quarterfinals in Paris by defeating Nicolas Jarry 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5. Jarry, who served an 11-month ban in 2020 for a positive doping test, went up 4-1 in the second set and 4-2 in the third, but Ruud turned things around each time.
Ruud’s quarterfinal opponent will be No. 6 Holger Rune or No. 23 Francisco Cerundolo. Other men’s matches Monday were No. 27 Yoshihito Nishioka vs. Tomas Martin Etcheverry, and No. 22 Alexander Zverev vs. No. 28 Grigor Dimitrov at night.