PARIS (Reuters) – German wildcard Daniel Altmaier’s impressive French Open was ended emphatically by Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta as the 17th seed claimed a 6-2 7-5 6-2 victory late on Monday.
Carreno Busta had to weather a second-set fightback by the 22-year-old but proved too experienced as he reached the quarter-final for the second time.
His reward is a clash with top seed Novak Djokovic in a repeat of their U.S. Open fourth round when the Serbian world number one was defaulted for inadvertently hitting a line judge with a ball.
Altmaier had already dispatched seeds Jan-Lennard Struff and Matteo Berrettini and was hoping to become the first player to reach the quarter-final of his maiden Grand Slam appearance since Alex Radulescu at Wimbledon in 1996.
After the match was switched to under the Court Philippe Chatrier roof because of rain the opening games were hard-fought but Carreno Busta broke the 186th-ranked Altmaier’s serve twice to eventually ease through the opening set.
But Altmaier, who models his game on former French Open champion Stan Wawrinka, was undeterred and began to rock the Spaniard with some bludgeoning groundstrokes, especially his single-handed backhand, in the second set.
He broke serve in the sixth game and led 5-2 but then threw away all his hard work when he double-faulted twice and made some rash errors when he served for the set at 5-3.
Carreno Busta needed no second opportunity to stamp his authority back on the match and went on a nine-game winning sequence to lead 4-0 in the third set.
Altmaier did stop the rot but there was no way back as Carreno Busta, who lost in the semi-finals of the U.S. Open, sealed victory just after 11pm local time.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)