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KEY DATES FOR WIMBLEDON 2017

Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July

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News
Sunday, 4 June 2017 22:26 PM BST
French Open Day 8: Mladenovic ousts Muguruza
Wimbledon.com rounds up the action from Day 8 at the 2017 French Open. READ MORE

Recent Roland Garros history is littered with false dawns for French players, a few moments of brilliance followed by disappointment as their title hopes fall short.

It is 34 years since Yannick Noah became the last men’s champion and 17 since Mary Pierce lifted the women’s trophy. But in Kristina Mladenovic, does the host nation have a woman who can break the drought?

At 24, Mladenovic has taken time to mature but on a sunny Sunday afternoon in front of a raucous crowd on Court Suzanne Lenglen, she dumped out the defending champion, Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-1 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals for the first time. 

Mixing deft drop shots with huge blows from the baseline, Mladenovic showed no signs of the back pain which caused her so many problems in the first round, withstanding a Muguruza fightback in the second set and then, with the help of the passionate Parisian crowd, which did the Mexican wave and chanted “Kiki, Kiki”, winning the decider.

“It’s not perfect, but I fight as I can,” the 13th-seeded Frenchwoman told the crowd after moving to her first French Open quarter-final. “I served 35 doubles, but it’s good because you gave me so much strength.”

The actual tally was 16 double faults, and Muguruza will kick herself, having taken only three of her 11 break points.

The Spaniard was booed after she angrily swatted a ball into the crowd in the final game. After losing her crown on her 33rd unforced error, she walked off, briefly wagging her finger at the partisan home crowd.

“I don't feel so well,” an emotional Muguruza said. “It was a disputed match. I lost confidence, and my opponent of course was on home turf, so it created a lot of tension.”

When asked about the multi-lingual Mladenovic shouting “Forza” on some of her unforced errors, Muguruza burst into tears and temporarily left the press conference room.

This was a loss that will sting, and the Spaniard will hope to regroup in time for Wimbledon, where she reached the final in 2015.

New faces

There will be a new name on the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen after the other three remaining Grand Slam winners left in the women's draw went out.

Mladenovic will play Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland for a spot in the semi-finals after the Swiss took out Venus Williams 5-7, 6-2, 6-1. Although the American rallied from a 5-1 deficit to take the first set, her game unravelled as Bacsinszky moved her around with a flurry of exquisite drop shots, including in the last two points of the match.

The 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova was knocked out by former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, who also used the drop shot cleverly to reach her first French Open quarter-final since 2010.

Australian Sam Stosur, the 2011 US Open winner, was ousted by former junior Wimbledon champion Jelena Ostapenko, who moves into her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final.

2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova moved into the last 16 with a straight-sets win over Germany’s Carina Witthoeft while Elina Svitolina of Ukraine will play Croatian qualifier Petra Martic after both won third-round matches held over by rain.

“Jeu, Nadal”

“Jeu, Nadal.” These words have become all too familiar to the four opponents of the nine-time French Open winner in the first week of Roland Garros.

After dropping just one game to Nikoloz Basilashvili on Friday, the Spaniard lost only five to fellow Spaniard Robert Bautista-Agut on Sunday and his total of 20 games dropped in total is his best start to Roland Garros since 2012.

But Nadal still tried to play down the favourite tag against his next opponent, Pablo Carreno Busta, who battled for more than four hours to overcome Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic in five sets.

“You don't have someone who doesn't play well in quarter-finals,” said Nadal, who has never played the 20th-seeded Spaniard before.

“What can you expect? I will have to be extremely careful, I'll have to be very aggressive, and I'll have to keep my focus.”

Thiem earns Djokovic meeting

Dominic Thiem, a semi-finalist in 2016, set up a quarter-final clash with Novak Djokovic after the young Austrian dropped just five games against Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos.

After a difficult first set, defending champion Djokovic produced a solid performance against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, winning 7-6(5), 6-1, 6-3 just before the light faded.

The home nation also has a male player in the last eight after Richard Gasquet retired with a thigh injury in the third set against Gael Monfils, who plays former champion Stan Wawrinka next. Japan’s eighth seed Kei Nishikori completed the last-16 lineup with a rain-delayed five-set win over South Korea’s Hyeon Chung.

Quote of the day

“Karen is a -- it's weird saying that name. It's my mother's name. Sorry.”

John Isner on Karen Khachanov, the big-serving Russian who beat the American in four sets and who plays Andy Murray in the quarter-final on Monday.

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