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French Open Diary: Zverev's Yorkshire love affair blossoming, Stephens eyes Federer hit

Omnisport
NEWS
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248   //    04 Jun 2018, 01:08 IST
Alexander Zverev - cropped
Alexander Zverev at Roland Garros

Alexander Zverev was swooning over a Yorkshire reporter's accent again at the French Open on Sunday, as Sloane Stephens set her sights on a hit with Roger Federer.

Zverev reached his first grand slam quarter-final by coming through a third consecutive five-setter, beating Karen Khachanov on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

The second seed took a shine to Jonathan Pinfield's accent earlier in the week and hit it off with the English journalist once more after breaking new ground.

Stephens also made it through to the last eight at Roland Garros before expressing her disappointment that Rafael Nadal recently practiced with Maria Sharapova rather than her.

Catch up with what happened on a glorious middle Sunday in Paris in our daily dairy.

 

ZVEREV BESOTTED BY YORKSHIRE TONES

Zverev was thrown when he first heard Pinfield speak and he was smiling again when the long-haired Yorkshireman asked him another question following his fourth-round win, as you'll see in the transcript below. 

Pinfield said: "Paris is the city of love, but as we both know, love can be complicated and often misunderstood. It can start with a misunderstanding, then some flirting and then hopefully something wonderful can blossom."

Zverev: "Which stage am I with Yorkshire right now? Where am I?

Pinfield: "Well, my big question to you is: Are you feeling in love with Roland Garros and is Roland Garros falling in love with you?

Zverev: "I hope so. I fall in love with your accent more every single day. That's what I'm falling in love with."

 

STEPHENS SMARTING FROM NADAL SNUB

Stephens reached the quarter-finals of the second major of the year for the first time but had a grievance to air after overcoming Anett Kontaveit. 

A member of the media appeared to have touched a nerve when he asked if the US Open champion had seen that Sharapova shared a practice court with Nadal.

"Uh-huh," was her response. 

"I asked him [Nadal]. Why didn't you let me hit with you? And [Nadal's coach] Francis [Roig] said 'You have to win another tournament to play with him'. I was, like, 'Fine'."

When a reporter pointed out that she was a major champion, she added: "I know but it's not enough. It's, like, Rafa. You have to do more. He was kidding, but, still... I was, like - one day, I'm going to one-up her and hit with Fed, take Fed on grass. I've got to one-up her, I've got to. I'm going to start asking soon."

 

WHAT MATCH?

The media rooms have been abuzz with talk of a potentially titanic tussle between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova on Monday.

Madison Keys played dumb when asked if she will be watching the fourth-round clash between two fierce rivals.

"What match?" the smiling American said when asked about the showdown.

"I think it's Williams/Sharapova," a journalist replied, to which Keys responded "Hmmm."

Quizzed about Sharapova's run to the last 16, she added: "Honestly, I haven't been able to see much of Maria or Serena. My tennis coverage in my room has been a lot of the French players, and I haven't been able to find Maria or Serena or anything."

 

SAVOIR FAIRE IN THE VILLAGE

Those with a head for heights and an appreciation of the finer things in life ought to be doing everything in their power to get an invite to The Village.

Guests have been quaffing champagne and lapping up the fine dining in a new facility which is a magnificent addition to a venue which prides itself on savoir faire.

The Village has a capacity of over 11,000, providing a great vantage point to get up close to the action on Courts 7 and 9 - also built this year.

Up high on the terrace is the place to be for the best view of all, with the opportunity to look down on Court Phillipe Chatrier, the outside courts and way beyond Roland Garros.

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