Top 10 seeds Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych moved into the fourth round on Saturday at the French Open, while a tearful No. 6 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saw his Roland Garros campaign ended by injury.
The top-seeded Djokovic played like a man late for dinner and beat the darkness as the last match on with a surgical 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win over Brit Aljaz Bedene, while the No. 7-seeded Berdych came from a set down to defeat No. 25 Pablo Cuevas 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.
The world No. 1 will next meet No. 14 Roberto Bautista Agut, who eased past youngster Borna Coric 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. Berdych will next meet No. 11 David Ferrer, who beat No. 21-seeded countryman Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 7-6(6), 6-1.
Tsonga retired leading 5-2 in the first set against Ernests Gulbis after aggravating a groin injury.
“It is the same thing I had before the tournament,” Tsonga said. “I just came on court pretty good, and feeling really good. The first game of the match I made a couple of slides, and on one of them I just felt a pain. Then I continued a little bit, and it was becoming more and more painful. I knew it was over, because there was no chance I could play all match long like this and no chance that I could play in the next round.”
The gift to Gulbis means the Latvian advances to face No. 12 David Goffin, who ground out a five-set win over Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
“It’s never nice to win like this, so I feel very sorry for him,” said Gulbis of Tsonga, who left the court in tears. “There’s not much I can say about the match itself. It was just the beginning. I was just starting to get to feel the atmosphere of the center court. I haven’t been here for a couple of years. But overall, if we take that apart, then I’m satisfied the way I played. I’m satisfied the way I hit the ball in the practices, in the first two rounds. Second round was especially really good from my game
and from my perspective.”
Gulbis says he expects a lot of balls to come back from Goffin.
“In the practices I couldn’t beat [Goffin] because the guy is like a wall,” Gulbis said. “I think he likes playing against guys like me, who are hitting the wall. But if I remember right, I beat him once in Acapulco or somewhere. I don’t remember exactly where, but I think I’m capable of beating him.”
No. 13 Dominic Thiem came from a set down to defeat German comer Alexander Zverev 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, setting up a meeting with unseeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers, who advanced after Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament citing a wrist injury.
“I knew already before the match that it was going to be a very tough one against such a great player like Sascha,” said the zebra-striped-wearing Thiem. “I think the little difference today was probably the three years’ age difference…Against Rafa I’m the underdog. Against Granollers, I’m probably the favorite. It has good sides and also bad sides. Granollers is really fresh, he didn’t play today. So it’s going to be, again, a very tough match.”
Matches to look for on Sunday at Roland Garros are (3) Stan Wawrinka vs. (22) Viktor Troicki, (5) Kei Nishikori vs. (9) Richard Gasquet, and (2) Andy Murray vs. (15) John Isner.
SUNDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Philippe-Chatrier Court 11:00 AM Start
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) vs. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
Viktor Troicki (SRB) vs. Stan Wawrinka (SUI)
Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs. Richard Gasquet (FRA)
Simona Halep (ROU) vs. Samantha Stosur (AUS)
Suzanne-Lenglen Court 11:00 AM Start
Milos Raonic (CAN) vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) vs. Shelby Rogers (USA)
John Isner (USA) vs. Andy Murray (GBR)
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
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