French Open fun June 3: Nadal, Khachanov, Halep, Keys, more

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French Open fun June 3: Nadal, Khachanov, Halep, Keys, more

Roland Garros smells like croissants, red dirt, and fresh thrills. With its sixteen quarterfinalists defined, the French Open moves at vertiginous speed toward its summit phase. Before we jump on the train (destination, round of eight), let us rewind, pause, and enjoy some of the stand-out moments of this Monday.

1- Joyeux anniversaire: Not sure if it’s Rafael Nadal who’s been getting gifts today, or his fans. The Spaniard icon has celebrated his 33rd birthday, and dedicated some time to the crowd after his on-court practice.

The moment involved selfies, “Joyeux anniversaire”s, and a bouquet of flowers.

The elven-time titleholder will face Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals. 2- Again? There seems to be a golden rule among some adult fans at Roland Garros this year: “If a player gives a kid a towel, snatch it with no shame”.

Apparently, there even is a bonus if you ignore the player’s complaint, just like this man did after Madison Keys’ match.

Madison Keys got past Katerina Siniakova and booked her place in the quarter-finals against Ashleigh Barty.

3- Big hugs = big friendship: Remember that time when Simona Halep had to wait for Juan Martin del Potro to finish his TV conference to make her own apparition before the media? Seems like the event did not give way to ill feelings, as the Romanian watched Del Potro’s Monday match, apparently right from his box.

The Argentinian bowed to Karen Khachanov 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-3 and missed the chance to face Dominic Thiem in the next round.

4- Turn of events: How hard is it to play in a stadium where most of the crowd cheers for your opponent? Karen Khachanov lived it fully today, against Juan Martin del Potro on the Suzanne Lenglen. Yet, at the end, the Russian managed to get the public chanting his name.

The crowd went wilder when Khachanov announced that him and his wife Veronika Shkliaeva are going to have a baby soon.

5- True or false? Dominic Thiem answered Roland Garros' trivia questions! He didn't get as many right answers as Madison Keys did with Eurosport's quiz, but he discovered who had hit the strongest serve in 2018.

The Austrian defeated Gael Monfils 6-4 6-4 6-2 to power to the quarter-finals.

Bonus: Yesterday, Stan Wawrinka and Benoit Paire met in the hallways leading to the Philippe Chatrier. The Swiss was just out of his tremendous match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, the French was about to face Kei Nishikori. Their greeting was heartfelt.