Roger Federer cruised into his 11th straight French Open fourth round blowing out 88th-ranked Damir Dzumhur 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on a cool Friday in Paris.
The win sets up the Swiss for a tasty match Sunday against French favorite Gael Monfils who overcame a two break, 4-1 fourth set deficit to beat a choking Pablo Cuevas in five 4-6, 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in 3 hours, 22 minutes.
“Paris is different; [it] is magic,” said Monfils. “I don’t know how, but I’m here… I think I can show some new emotion, I can show some tennis and I can show some side of me I don’t even know. I think the crowd just brings me something, something else, and I think it just showed a bit more today.”
Federer has beaten Cuevas in both meeting this year on clay. Instead, he faces Monfils who he has lost to twice on clay in the last five months.
Federer’s countryman Stan Wawrinka advance over American Steve Johnson by an identical 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 scoreline.
“After the first set, things went quite smoothly; I was a little nervous in the first set,” said Wawrinka. “I hesitated on a few points. I think I was sort of watching, because I didn’t really know what to expect.”
Next for Stan is a Sunday showdown with Gilles Simon, who won in 5 sets over countryman Nicolas Mahut 6-2, 6-7(6), 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-1.
“Gilles is always a tough player; he’s difficult to handle,” Wawrinka said. “You have to be aggressive and really catch opportunities when they’re there.”
Kei Nishikori enjoyed a day off thanks to a withdrawal from Benjamin Becker. His next opponent, Teymuraz Gabishvili, has quietly been on a tear. The Russian hasn’t dropped a set in three matches after beating up on Lukos Rosol 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Tomas Berdych was also a winner beating Benoit Paire in four sets. He’ll next get Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who toppled Pablo Andujar.
“We played in Madrid; I won that match,” Berdych said of Tsonga. “I’m feeling good. I’m feeling confident. [I’m] just looking forward to that match.”
On Saturday, a pair of young Aussies will have their hands full with two of the very best. Nick Kyrgios will try for a third time to beat Andy Murray while Thanasi Kokkinakis takes on World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Rafael Nadal returns against Russian 24-year-old Andrey Kuznetsov. Nadal has won 37 straight matches at the French Open. Richard Gasquet, who closed out Carlos Berlocq in five today, is also in action against Kevin Anderson. And David Ferrer will be the big favorite against Simone Bolleli.
SATURDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Philippe-Chatrier Court 11:00 AM Start
Petra Kvitova (CZE) vs. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)
Richard Gasquet (FRA) vs. Kevin Anderson (RSA)
Serena Williams (USA) vs. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
Suzanne-Lenglen Court 11:00 AM Start
Andy Murray (GBR) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) vs. Sloane Stephens (USA)
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