Serena Williams shocked by ruthless Rybakina at the 2021 French Open

Jonathan Davies in French Open 06 Jun 2021
Williams’ wait for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title goes on (PA Images)

Serena Williams crashed out of the 2021 French Open after suffering a straight-sets (3-6 5-7) defeat against Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in the fourth round at Roland Garros.

Three-time champion Williams had only dropped a single set in the three previous matches of her latest quest to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

However, the eighth seed came unstuck against 21-year-old Rybakina, who secured a place in her maiden Grand Slam quarter-final.

The 21st seed’s reward is a showdown with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after the Russian recovered from a set down to beat former world number one Viktoria Azarenka 5-7 6-3 6-2, and secure a first last-eight appearance in Paris since 2011.

Like Rybakina, Paula Badosa and Tamara Zidansek are also through to a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time.

Spain’s Badosa needed three sets to see off 2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-4 3-6 6-2.

Meanwhile having never previously been past round one at Roland Garros, Zidansek became the first woman from Slovenian to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam event.

Over in the Men’s singles, Daniil Medvedev’s resurgence on clay continued.

The second seed, who had failed to win on his previous four appearances in this tournament, eased past Chile’s Cristian Garin 6-2 6-1 7-5.

He will now play fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who also ran out a comfortable straight-sets winner (6-3 6-2 7-5) against Pablo Carreno Busta to move within a victory of a second successive French Open semi-final.

Following a tight opening set against Kei Nishikori, sixth seed Alexander Zverev dropped just two more games in a ruthless 6-4 6-1 6-1 rout of the former US Open runner-up.

The German set up a showdown with first-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who beat Federico Delbonis 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-4.

Earlier in the day, the first pieces of silverware of this tournament were lifted.

The British duo of Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid resume their dominance in the wheelchair men’s doubles; sealing a sixth successive Grand Slam success following a straight-sets (6-3 6-0) victory over France’s Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.

Diede de Groot claimed her second wheelchair singles title at Roland Garros – and 10th Grand Slam crown overall – as she overcame Yui Kamiji 6-4 6-3, while Andy Lapthorne and David Wagner needed a deciding set to see off Dylan Alcott and Sam Schroder in the wheelchair quad doubles.

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French Open 2021 Results

Sunday June 6

Last 16

Court Philippe Chatrier
Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 3-6, 2-6 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 Pablo Carreno Busta
Serena Williams 3-6, 5-7 Elena Rybakina
Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 Kei Nishikori

Court Suzanne Lenglen
Tamara Zidansek 7-6, 6-1 Sorana Cirstea
Marketa Vondrousova 4-6, 6-3, 2-6 Paula Badosa
Cristian Garin 2-6, 1-6, 5-7 Daniil Medvedev
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 Federico Delbonis

Click here for all the results on Day Eight