Day 10 diary: Diede the Great hits century

Wheelchair tennis legend wins 100th consecutive match

Diede de Groot, Roland-Garros 2023, wheelchair women's singles first round© Loïc Wacziak/FFT
 - Chris Oddo

On a perfect day for tennis, Parisian fans were delighted by amazing feats across the grounds.

Four of the eight semi-final spots were claimed in singles, as wheelchair and Legends' action commenced and doubles, mixed and juniors continued to progress.

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Diede continues to amaze

The extraordinary story continues...

Diede de Groot has been a force on the Grand Slam stage ever since she claimed her first major title at Wimbledon in 2017. Sixteen more Grand Slam singles titles have followed, and today the Dutchwoman notched up one of her most remarkable accomplishments to date: winning her 100th consecutive match.

As part of the celebration, De Groot was gifted a customised Paris Saint-Germain football jersey with the number 100 and her name emblazoned on the back.

Wheelchair great Esther Vergeer holds the record for the longest unbeaten run in the sport, having ended her career on a 470-match winning streak. De Groot has long been an admirer of the 21-time wheelchair singles Grand Slam champion.

“Esther Vergeer was a tennis player who did such amazing things, and I think before my own career started I admired her for winning so many titles,” De Groot told last year in Paris.

“I think now that I’m doing it myself I’m definitely not aiming for the goals that she has achieved. But I am definitely looking at her, like, ‘How did she do it for such a long time?’ and my perspective has definitely changed looking at her and trying to see how she did it.”

The 26-year-old De Groot has remained unbeaten in more than two years (according to the ITF, her last defeat came at the hands of Japan's Yui Kamiji at the Melbourne Wheelchair Open in February 2021) and has won the singles title at the last nine Grand Slam tournaments. This week in Paris she is bidding to win her 18th major singles title.

The Dutchwoman beat French wildcard Emmanuelle Morch, 6-2, 6-2, on Court 12 on Tuesday afternoon, and was awarded a ceremonial plaque to commemorate her achievement by Roland-Garros tournament director Amelie Mauresmo.

Aiming for perfect 10 in Paris

Winner of the last nine Grand Slam wheelchair women's singles titles, De Groot is the first tennis player, in any discipline, to win the Grand Slam in back-to-back years. She is bidding for her 10nth consecutive Slam title this week in Paris.

Pavlyuchenkova - from lost to hungry

After her tournament ended on Tuesday, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova expressed both pride and disappointment in her run to the quarter-finals. The world No.333, who fell to Karolina Muchova 7-5, 6-2 on Court Philippe-Chatrier, says she simply "ran out of petrol" against the Czech.

The loss left Pavlyuchenkova with mixed emotions, as well as a lot of hope that her comeback from a knee injury is more than on track.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, quarter-final, Roland-Garros 2023© Philippe Montigny/FFT

“So I have these mixed feelings. Obviously, first, it’s a great run and especially in my case, coming back this year, after what I have been going through – I was off for almost a year – so of course it’s amazing, but at the same time the appetite comes while you eat, so I was winning and I just wanted to keep going,” she said.

Two years after reaching the final in Paris in 2021, Pavlyuchenkova admits that she entered this season low on self-belief.

“At the beginning of the year I had zero confidence. I was a bit lost to be honest," she said.  "If you tell me earlier this year that I would get a quarter-final and win so many good matches, of course I would take it, but now it feels totally normal, and I’m actually upset that I lost today.

"So that’s what is also the beauty of life and sport.” 

Sabalenka deflects hard-court specialist label

Aryna Sabalenka, hard-court specialist? Think again. The No.2 seed is proving to be a clay-court aficionado this week in Paris.

Sabalenka reached her maiden Roland-Garros semi-final with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Elina Svitolina, setting up a semi-final clash with Muchova. After the victory, Sabalenka backed her clay skills.

“Honestly when I was a kid I practised a lot on the clay – more than on the hard courts,” she said. "I don’t know why everyone thought that I’m a hard-court specialist, and that I don’t feel comfortable on the clay."

Alcaraz, Rune make RG history

Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune are the first pair of under-21 men's singles players to reach back-to-back quarter-finals (2022 and 2023) at Roland-Garros in the Open Era. Alcaraz is facing Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals tonight; Rune will face Casper Ruud.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Carlos Alcaraz, quarts de finale, Roland-Garros 2023©Julien Crosnier / FFT

Foe backs Clervie Ngouenoue

A surprise visitor was sitting courtside as Clervie Ngounoue, the No.2 seed in the girls' singles draw, finished off a second-round victory over Great Britain's Hanna Klugman.

Hey Big Foe!

Frances Tiafoe was in the box as the 16-year-old wrapped up her 7-6(5), 7-5 victory on Court 7 on Monday.

“Yeah, it means so much. It was just nice to see a familiar face watching me," said Ngounoue, who is a Washington, DC native, along with Tiafoe. "I’m so grateful that he took the time to come – that was the first time that he’s ever come to watch my match and I was a bit surprised.”

After a day off on Tuesday, Ngounoue will face Bulgaria's Iva Ivanova in the third round.

Clervie Ngounoue, girls' singles, first round, Roland-Garros 2023LW = © Loïc Wacziak/FFT

Couples retreat, RG style

The calm before the storm: prior to her quarter-final with Sabalenka, Svitolina gets loose while her husband Gael Monfils provides support.