Spanish and into French Open last-eight, but it’s not Nadal? Ramos-Vinolas a ‘very happy’ man

A Spanish left-hander moved into the quarter-finals of the French Open on Sunday. No surprise there, although his name was not Rafael Nadal but Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas has pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 French Open with his straight sets dismantling of world No 9 Milos Raonic. Caroline Blumberg / EPA
Albert Ramos-Vinolas has pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 French Open with his straight sets dismantling of world No 9 Milos Raonic. Caroline Blumberg / EPA

A Spanish left-hander moved into the quarter-finals of the French Open on Sunday. No surprise there, although his name was not Rafael Nadal but Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

With nine-time champion Nadal rocking the tournament on Friday when he pulled out with a wrist injury, the onus has fallen on some of his less-celebrated countrymen to carry the flag.

Ramos-Vinolas, ranked No 55 in the world, had never been past the second round in 18 previous grand slam appearances but Nadal would have approved of the way he swept past eighth seed Milos Raonic, the big-serving Canadian, to set up a clash with reigning champion Stanislas Wawrinka.

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His 6-2 6-4 6-4 victory was only his second defeat of a top 10 player, the other being Roger Federer last year, and followed his win over No 23 seed Jack Sock on Friday.

His run has been even more surprising as his previous four visits to Roland Garros resulted in first-round losses.

“I’m very happy. I didn’t expect this,” Ramos-Vinolas, 28, said. “After losing last week 6-1 6-1 against Wawrinka (in Geneva), I was a little bit down.

“I don’t know why this week things seem to be falling into place but I hope I will continue in that way.”

Three other Spaniards will try to join Ramos-Vinolas in the men’s quarter-finals on Monday when Roberto Bautista Agut plays top seed Novak Djokovic, former runner-up David Ferrer is up against Tomas Berdych and Marcel Granollers, who was handed a walkover by Nadal, faces Austria’s Dominic Thiem.

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Published: May 29, 2016 04:00 AM

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