PARIS – On a Sunday of upsets among the women at the French Open, revenge was a dish served up in an autumnal chill by a Polish teenager.
Against the player who humbled her 6-1, 6-0 on the same stage last year, 19-year-old Iga Swiatek defeated top-seeded Simona Halep, sending the 2018 champion packing 6-1, 6-2.
Halep, who also lifted the trophy at Wimbledon last year, needed only 45 minutes to defeat Swiatek in the fourth round last year. Swiatek used that defeat as fuel.
"A huge lesson," she said. "I knew that I can, like, play differently and I can finally show my best tennis."
Halep lasted just 23 minutes longer.
"She was everywhere," said Halep, who had been on a career-best winning streak of 17 matches. "I will have a chocolate and I will be better tomorrow."
That upset was followed by another moments later. Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan ousted fifth-seeded Kiki Bertens, winning 6-4, 6-4. Swiatek and Trevisan will play each other in what will be a first Grand Slam quarterfinal for each.
It was hardly business as usual for the men. Rafael Nadal advanced, but his quarterfinal opponent will be dangerous debutant Jannik Sinner. By making the men's last eight as a newcomer, the 19-year-old Italian matched a feat last achieved by Nadal himself, in 2005, on his march to the first of his 12 titles in Paris.
So impressive has Sinner been on the clay that his 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win against U.S. Open finalist Alexander Zverev hardly seemed like an upset. Zverev said he was sick, so feverish and short of breath that "I shouldn't have played."
Against fourth-round foe Sebastian Korda, a 20-year-old qualifier whose cat is named "Rafa," Nadal won 6-1, 6-1, 6-2.
Korda said his long-term sights are set on winning at least two Grand Slam titles, one more than his dad, 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda. Meantime, the spanking from Nadal was "definitely the best moment of my life."
"Super awesome," he said. "I asked him for a signed shirt when we were tapping rackets and he said, 'Yeah, no problem.' So I have one in my bag right now. So I'm super stoked."