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French Open lookahead: Nadal faces player his uncle coaches

French Open lookahead: Nadal faces player his uncle coaches
Spain's Rafael Nadal serves the ball to Netherlands' Botic van de Zandschulp during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Friday, May 27, 2022 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PARIS (AP) — LOOKAHEAD TO SUNDAY

Rafael Nadal knows the coach of his fourth-round opponent at Roland Garros rather well: It’s Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and former longtime coach. Uncle Toni, as he’s often called, began working part-time with Felix Auger-Aliassime last season. That’s just one reason this is an intriguing matchup on Sunday at Court Philippe Chatrier. Nadal is a 13-time champion at the French Open and owns a men’s-record 21 Grand Slam titles. And even though he has dealt with chronic pain in his left foot recently, and a rib injury earlier this season, he is still considered the King of Clay and has not dropped a set leading into the contest against Auger-Aliassime, a 21-year-old Canadian who was a semifinalist at last year’s U.S. Open and is seeded ninth in Paris. Both players say they don’t expect there to be any awkwardness; Auger-Aliassime said Toni Nadal would sit in a neutral location, rather than in either competitor’s guest box. Over at Court Suzanne Lenglen, defending champion Novak Djokovic will face 15th-seeded Diego Schwartzman. If Nadal and Djokovic both win, they would play each other in the quarterfinals, making for a 59th head-to-head matchup, adding to their professional era record for the most meetings between two men. Three American women are in fourth-round action Sunday: 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens vs. No. 23 Jil Teichmann of Switzerland, 18-year-old Coco Gauff vs. No. 31 Elise Mertens of Belgium, and 20-year-old Amanda Anisimova vs. 2021 U.S. Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez of Canada.

SUNDAY’S FORECAST

Partly cloudy. High of 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 Celsius).

SATURDAY’S KEY RESULTS

Women’s Third Round: No. 1 Iga Swiatek beat Danka Kovinic 6-3, 7-5; No. 29 Veronika Kudermetova beat No. 3 Paula Badosa 6-3, 2-1, retired; No. 28 Camila Giorgi beat No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka 4-6, 6-1, 6-0; No. 11 Jessica Pegula beat No. 24 Tamara Zidansek 6-1, 7-6 (2); No. 22 Madison Keys beat No. 16 Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3); No. 20 Daria Kasatkina beat Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-2; Zheng Qinwen beat Alize Cornet 6-0, 3-0, retired; Irina-Camelia Begu beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-4.

Men’s Third Round: No. 2 Daniil Medvedev beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4, 6-2, 6-2; No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Mikael Ymer 6-2, 6-2 6-1; No. 7 Andrey Rublev beat Cristian Garin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (11); No. 11 Jannik Sinner beat Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-3; No. 12 Hubert Hurkacz beat David Goffin 7-5, 6-2, 6-1; No. 20 Marin Cilic beat Gilles Simon 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.

STAT OF THE DAY

11 — Set points saved by Jannik Sinner in the second set of his victory over Mackenzie McDonald.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I had a feeling like, ‘OK, she’s No. 1. I have to put a little more pressure on her.’” — Danka Kovinic, about facing Iga Swiatek, who won their match to extend her winning streak to 31 matches.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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