French Open Day 8: Nishikori, Raonic out

Published by Paul Moore

Kei Nishikori crashed out to Richard Gasquet. Photo: Getty Images
Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic bit the dust at the French Open, while Muguruza and Rogers marched on.

Rain, rain go away, come again a week today… Yep, what was already dubbed a wet and woolly year for Roland Garros somehow conspired to get wetter and woollier yesterday as the heavens opened and hail fell out of them. But not before a smattering of fourth round matches crossed the finish line.

The women’s action:

Shelby Rogers is going to win the French Open. There you go, someone has to say it. The American is (not literally) on fire this week, and walloping any unsuspecting adversary who happens to cross her path. Yesterday it was Irina-Camelia Begu who suffered a 6-3 6-4 shellacking at the hands of the world No.108, who will go on to face the mighty Garbine Muguruza.

Because Garbine Muguruza is also going to win the French Open. Yep, it’s going to be a tie – or a draw (depending on where you live in the world). A little like Shelby, Garbine is also in the mood to destroy those unfortunate enough to be staring at her on the other side of the net. The fourth seed dismissed an in-form Sveta Kuznetsova 6-3 6-4 to book her quarterfinal berth.

And that is about it for completed matches on the women’s side of the draw. Sure, Radwanska was owning Pironkova when the rain started to fall (the No.2 seed leads 6-2 3-0) and Halep was 5-3 up on Stosur. But today is another day, and we won’t read too much into all of that.

The best of the men:
Kei Nishikori is not going to win the French Open. How do we know that? He lost, that’s how. It was always going to be tough for the man from Japan against Richard Gasquet, but most had tipped him to find a way past the Frenchman. He didn’t. Gasquet dominated the match on Chatrier, finishing off the No.5 seed 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-2.

Less noteworthy and surprising is the fact that Milos Raonic was another seed to drop in the fourth round. The Canadian misfired his way to a 6-2 6-4 6-4 drubbing against unheralded Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the ‘big’ boys, though.

Andy Murray put an end to John Isner’s clay court season with a relatively straightforward 7-6(9) 6-4 6-3 win over the big man.

Before Murray, Stan Wawrinka got the better of Viktor Troicki in a fun match on Chatrier. Troicki, who needed treatment for a hip complaint, rallied valiantly against the defending champion, before succumbing to a 7-6(5) 6-7(6) 6-3 6-2 defeat to the No.3 seed.

Ones to watch:
If we’re not all watching the gentle pitter patter of rain drops against the Parisian window panes, it’s worth checking in on Goffin v Gulbis (just to see if there are Latvian fireworks). Serena v Svitolina could be interesting if Elina is firing on all cylinders, while Venus will be looking forward to taking on Bacinszky.

Over on Suzanne Lenglen, David Ferrer v Tomas Berdych is a tough one to call (but we’re going to call Ferrer on this one). While Kiki Bertens will be looking to continue her improbable run towards French Open glory by dismantling Madison Keys.

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