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Sport

Tsitsipas through to fourth round after injured Bedene retires

PARIS (Reuters) - Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced to the fourth round of the French Open on Saturday after his opponent Aljaz Bedene retired with an ankle injury while trailing 6-1 6-2 3-1.

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - October 3, 2020 Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his third round match against Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene REUTERS/Charles Platiau

In his fourth round, the Greek will play Bulgarian 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who also advanced in a similar fashion when Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain retired due to sickness after going down 6-1 6-3.

“I have been throwing up all the day,” the Spaniard said. “I started yesterday night at 3 a.m. I tried to warm up and tried to play, but I couldn’t. It was impossible.”

Slovenian Bedene, who defeated Tsitsipas in straight sets when they met at Rotterdam earlier this year, first called for the physiotherapist on Court Suzanne Lenglen to get treatment on his right ankle after going down 5-0 in the opening set.

After returning to court Bedene won the first game to get on the scoreboard and then got his ankle strapped before the start of the second set.

Tsitsipas, the reigning ATP Finals champion, kept his focus and went about his business smoothly, hitting 28 winners and breaking the 56th-ranked Bedene’s serve five times before the 31-year-old decided he could no longer continue.

With his win on Saturday, Tsitsipas also become the first Greek player to reach the second week at Roland Garros on multiple occasions.

“It’s something that I cherish and appreciate,” he told reporters. “Being able to compete in a second week gives me a lot of confidence I think. It feels great. You feel like you’re part of a prestige.

“I’ve been putting a lot of hard work in in every single match trying to rise my level, play up to my expectations. I’m very glad that I am where I am today.

“It’s a moment that I can reflect on and move on to the second week with the knowledge of the first.”

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Christian Radnedge

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