French Open: Andrey Rublev rages in shock defeat as Jannik Sinner breezes into last 16 with victory over Pavel Kotov | Tennis News

Hot-headed Andrey Rublev lost his cool spectacularly as he crashed out of the French Open with a straight-sets defeat to Matteo Arnaldi in the third round.

Arnaldi, 23, saved a set point in the opening set before going on to dominate his opponent, beating Rublev 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 6-4.

The sixth-seeded Russian had a heated argument with umpire Lazemar Engzell during the second set over the mark left by a disputed line call.

Rublev promptly dropped serve and exploded with rage, smashing his racket to the ground and screaming towards his players’ box. At the changeover, the 26-year-old then repeatedly kicked his seat, leaving large dents in it.

In the third set, Rublev, by now on the verge of tears, began furiously hitting his knee with his racket as he was swept aside in straight sets.

“Completely disappointed with myself the way I behaved, the way I performed and I don’t remember behaving worse in a Grand Slam ever,” a remorseful Rublev said after the match.

“I think it was first time I’ve behaved that bad.”

Italy's Matteo Arnaldi
Twenty-three-year-old Matteo Arnaldi also reached the fourth round of last year’s US Open

Rublev has never got past the quarter-finals at a grand slam. He was tipped for a strong run at Roland Garros this year after winning his second career ATP Masters 1000 title in Madrid earlier this month but is now the highest-seeded casualty so far in the men’s draw.

Arnaldi will next play either Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas after he beat China’s Zhang Zhizhen 6-3 6-3 6-1.

Alcaraz beats Korda

Carlos Alcaraz was back on form as he beat Sebastian Korda 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 with his best showing of the French Open so far.

Wimbledon champion Alcaraz had a tough second round and there were concerns about his fitness afterwards. However, he showed no signs of weakness as he had a response for everything Korda threw at him.

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning his second round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Netherlands' Jesper de Jong at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
Carlos Alcaraz is through to the second week of the French Open

He got a decisive break towards the end of the first set, then won a tight second and stepped his foot on the gas to win the third.

The Spaniard will face Ben Shelton or Felix Auger-Aliassime for a place in the quarter-finals, with their match on hold due to rain.

“It was a really good match. I played really, really well. It’s something I really wanted to get into the rallies and play good points. I’m feeling myself on the court and I did pretty well,” said Alcaraz.

“I’m feeling amazing. I feel great playing on this court (Philippe Chatrier). I have great memories and hopefully I can keep going.”

Sinner breezes by Kotov and into fourth round

World number two Jannik Sinner eased into the fourth round with a ruthless 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory against Pavel Kotov.

The Australian Open champion faced only one break point on serve in a one-sided encounter, setting up a meeting with either Austrian Sebastian Ofner or French favourite Corentin Moutet in the last 16.

Kotov, who disposed of Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the first round and was hoping to beat a second Grand Slam champion in a row after eliminating Stan Wawrinka in the second, got off to a fiery start but Sinner was still a level above in the first set.

Jannik Sinner, French Open third round
Jannik Sinner secured his safe passage through to the fourth round at Roland Garros in straight sets

The Italian got another early break in the second to move two sets up and the same pattern was repeated in the third as Sinner wrapped up victory with an ace on match point.

Sinner also beat Kotov in straight sets in the Madrid Masters in April.

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