World number six Holger Rooney reached his second consecutive French Open quarter-final with a rollercoaster five-set win over Francisco Cerundolo on Monday, shrugging off a controversial incident in the match as “that’s life”.
The 20-year-old Dane came through 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (10/7) after four hours and will face 2022 runner-up Casper Rudd in last year’s ill-fated quarter. In a repeat of the final.
However, in the fourth game of the third set Roone was reprimanded by the crowd on court Philippe Chatrier for hitting the ball on a double bounce.
His 23rd-ranked Argentine opponent stopped the game, hoping the umpire would call the point for him.
Play continued and Cerundolo, who was called for interception when he stopped, dropped serve.
“When I hit the ball, I just ran for it. But then obviously when I saw it, after he called it, I saw it on TV after the next point and I saw it was a double bounce,” Roone said.
“But the point had already happened and he called the score.
“So I’m sorry. Sorry for him. But that’s tennis. That’s the game. Some umpires, they make mistakes. Some for me, some for him. That’s life.”
Roone hoped his quarter-final with Rudd on Wednesday will be remembered for the right reasons.
Last year’s match at Roland Garros, which Rudd won in four sets, sparked a war of words between the two.
Rune accused the Norwegian of “lacking respect”; Roode told the Dane to “grow up”.
Ruud holds a 4-1 career head-to-head lead over Rooney but the 20-year-old won their last meeting on clay in the semi-finals in Rome last month.
“Definitely there were dramas last year and I hope we can have less dramas this year,” Runu said.
“We played each other in Rome. It was a good match. He is a good player. I respect him. No problem. We are good.
“Should be a match without problems, hopefully.”
Monday’s victory was a morale boost for Rooney who lost a fifth-set super-tiebreak against Andrey Rublev in the last 16 at the Australian Open in January.
He also had two match points in that clash.
“I was actually thinking about the match against Rublev when we started the match in a tiebreak,” Roone said.
“I asked myself to act and think differently, to do something different than what I did in Australia, because it didn’t work. I did it and it was the right thing to do.”
The crowd was on its feet when Cerundolo hit to level the match in the second week of the Slam for the first time.
In a dramatic decider, Rooney held on for 3-4, 0-40 and survived the break.
He served for the match at 5-4 but the 24-year-old from Buenos Aires broke back to level at 5-5 and held for 6-5 before the match went to a knife-edge tiebreak.
“What a game,” Cerundolo tweeted.