Thursday (2 June) was quarter-finals day for the men at the French Open Tennis Championships in Paris.
Thursday (2 June) was quarter-finals day for the men at the French Open Tennis Championships in Paris. Europeans have dominated the French Championships through the seventies but the quarter-finals proved to be their downfall this year. The Italian title holder, Adriano Panatta went out in straight sets to Mexico's Raul Ramirez 7-6,6-3,7-5. And Argentina's Guillermo Vilas took less than two hours to find a place in the semi-final by beating Wotjek Fibak of Poland 6-4,6-0,6-4.
SYNOPSIS: The match didn't start well for Vilas -- serving here. The Argentine was soon struggling to save his service.
Vilas lost his first service and then his second to give Fibek a three-love lead in the first set.
Then the Argentine began to fight back. His sweeping left-handed style with its heavy top spin almost reduced Fibak to a state of nervy fumbling. The Pole lost nine games in a row at one state, mainly through his own mistakes. But Vilas controlled much of the game. He would lure Fibak to the net and then lob deep.
Vilas met Fibak last December in the semi-finals of the Masters Tournament at Houston in the United States. On that occasion, it was the Pole who went charging through to the final. But in Paris, Fibak showed little sign of that former ability and was frequently misjudging his shots.
Vilas serving for the match -- and once again the deep base line play. Fibak held on for a short while. But again he misjudged the length of a volley and the Argentine was through to the semi-finals. Vilas has conceded only one set in the tournament so far when he met Belus Prajoux of Chile in the second round. He will now meet Raul Ramirez for a place in the final. The two have met seven times before and Vilas has won on every occasion. But although vilas is ranked fourth in the world, he has yet to win a major tennis tournament.