Jannik Sinner: Ski champ to tennis star
A great day for home players continues as Gaston and Garcia sink No.16 seeds in their respective singles duels
The 20-year-old Gaston, the last Frenchman standing in the singles draw, is the first player ranked outside the top 200 to reach the last 16 in the men’s singles at Roland-Garros since No.283 Arnaud di Pasquale achieved that feat in 2002.
Prior to this fortnight in Paris, Gaston had never won a tour-level main draw match.
Wawrinka's two most recent defeats have come against the 239th-ranked Gaston and Lorenzo Musetti, the No. 249, in Rome. He received a bagel in each of those losses.
There was also home delight for Caroline Garcia, who made it through to the last 16 at Roland-Garros for the third time in four years after surviving a gruelling affair with No.16 seed Elise Mertens.
Garcia, a former top-five player who is unseeded in Paris this fortnight, rallied from a set down to dismiss her Belgian opponent 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 and set up a fourth-round meeting with Ukrainian No.3 seed Elina Svitolina.
Mertens, who owns the second-most match-wins in 2020 with a tally of 28, saved five match points but couldn't stop an inspired Garcia.
The Frenchwoman now leads their head-to-head 3-0.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal was in a hurry in his third-round match as he dismantled Italian Stefano Travaglia 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 in 95 minutes.
The 12-time Roland Garros champion improves to 96-2 win-loss on Parisian clay and next faces 20-year-old tournament debutant Sebastian Korda.
The American qualifier posted his sixth consecutive win in the French capital this fortnight, backing up his qualifying run with a maiden trip to the fourth round of a major.
Korda eased past Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 in a rain-interrupted third round on Friday.
The son of former Australian Open champion and 1992 Roland-Garros finalist Petr Korda, Sebastian told reporters he idolises Nadal so much, that he named his cat after the Mallorcan King of Clay.
Korda is playing just his second-ever Grand Slam main draw and is now the youngest American man to reach the Roland-Garros fourth round since Michael Chang made the quarter-finals here in 1991.
He's also the first American to reach the fourth round in Paris in his debut appearance since Michael Russell in 2001.
No.6 seed Alexander Zverev was pleased to come through in straight sets against former semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato after needed five tight sets to overcome Pierre-Hugues Herbert two days earlier.
The German recent US Open finalist delivered a 6-1, 7-5, 6-3 result against Cecchinato to reach the fourth round in Paris for a third consecutive year.
The 23-year-old Zverev faces a tricky last-16 challenge in the form of Italian teenager Jannik Sinner, who continues to produce some "incredible" tennis on his Roland-Garros debut.
Sinner followed up victories over David Goffin and Benjamin Bonzi with a 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 success over Argentina's Federico Coria in a rain-interrupted third round on Friday.
"He's quite incredible, I don't think he's lost a set yet, right?" said Zverev of the 19-year-old Sinner.
"He's somebody that is definitely coming up and playing really well right now. Somebody who has a lot of power, so we'll see how the match goes. I feel like I'm playing better and maybe have a little bit more experience, but the young guys they have no fear, they have no reason to be nervous, so it can go both ways."