Top Dogs Ease Through, Johnson Pulls Heart Strings at French Open
by Staff | May 31st, 2017, 11:21 pm

French Open favorites Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem enjoyed easy straight-set victories into the third round at Roland Garros on Wednesday.

The No. 2 Djokovic defeated Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-4, 6-3; No. 4 Nadal eased by Dutchman Robin Haase 6-1, 6-4, 6-3; and No. 6 Thiem defeated Italy’s Simone Bolelli 7-5, 6-1, 6-3.

“It was a solid match, solid performance,” said Thiem afterwards. “A little bit of a bad start, 0-3, then it got better and better. And I’m happy that I’m through in three sets.”

Djokovic got the job done in straights but was not at his sharpest as his nervous-looking coach Andre Agassi watched.

“Midway second set until maybe midway third set, that’s where I allowed him to believe more that he can get back into the match, and he started playing better,” Djokovic said. “I felt like maybe I took the foot off the gas a little bit.”

Other Top 10 winners were No. 5 Milos Raonic who came from a set down to beat Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4; and No. 10 David Goffin who defeated the Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Lower-seeded winners were No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 16 Lucas Pouille, No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut who beat Mikhail Kukushkin in four, No. 19 Albert Ramos, No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta who busta-ed Japan’s Taro Daniel in four, and No. 25 Steve Johnson who had an emotional four-set victory over Croat Borna Coric.

Johnson, who last week lost his father, broke down crying after match point, while Coric exploded in anger, smashing his racquet and water bottles.

“I just miss my dad, I wish he was following along — I know he is from upstairs — but it’s just so emotional, it’s hard to describe,” Johnson told Tennis Channel afterwards. “I just know he was looking down on that last point and gave me the strength to finish it off. Emotionally I’m a mess.”

Two Argentines turned upsets on the day when Renzo Olivo ousted No. 12 Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4, and Horacio Zeballos edged No. 23 Ivo Karlovic 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 6-3.

“I’m sorry for Tsonga,” Olivo told the crowd after winning the match resumed from the previous day. “I got home at 1 a.m., it was difficult to sleep. I had a massage, I slept for a few hours, but it was difficult not to think about the restart.”

Matches to look for on Thursday at Roland Garros are (3) Stan Wawrinka vs. Alexandr “The Dog” Dolgopolov, (1) Andy Murray vs. Martin Klizan, (29) Juan Martin del Potro vs. Nicolas Almagro, (30) David Ferrer vs. Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez in an all-Spanish, (18) Nick Kyrgios vs. Kevin Anderson, and (28) Fabio Fognini vs. Andreas Seppi in an all-Spanish.

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33 Comments for Top Dogs Ease Through, Johnson Pulls Heart Strings at French Open

RZ Says:

I’m a little nervous about Andy’s match. Klizan is an underachiever who can come out playing really well once in awhile

J-Kath Says:


Willow Says:

Go on Murray, hope you take him to the woodshed, i did used to like Klizan, funny how things can put you off a certain player, what an idiot ….

J-Kath Says:

Well Willow

If Klizan is taken to Margot’s well-known woodshed – Andy can just stand back and watch….ahem!

Margot Says:

Heard on R4 this a.m that Andy’s said he’s still not 100% so really don’t know how this’ll go. As RZ said Klizan is highly dangerous.
Let’s Go Andy! Let’s Go! Good luck.

Willow Says:

I Think Lokoli had the chance to be the bigger person, but sadly didnt take it, he doesnt have to like Klizan or respect him,but just do the right thing politely shake hands job done, and keep his dignity ….

J-Kath Says:

One small comment – Andy doesn’t look as pale as 2 days ago nor quite as exhausted overall – still, might get the crystals out…

Tennis Vagabond Says:

David Ferrer out.

Other than Wimbledon, this is David’s earliest loss at a Slam since … 2005!!

Given Wimbledon is next, we can guess another early exit… David could be out of seed protection for US Open.

Can someone summarize the Klizan story (Willow, why you no like?)?

Stan and Kei through…. this is turning into a very interesting tournament. Lots of star power and hot players(e.g. Carrion-Bustos, Ramos-Vinola) en route for Rnd of 32.

Yes, we all expect Rafa to win. But there’s a lot of good match-ups coming first. And wouldn’t a Stan/Rafa final be a cracker?

RZ Says:

Thanks for the article J-Kath. I hadn’t realized Klizan was full of so many antics. Hopefully Andy can keep it together here

RZ Says:

@TV – sad to see Ferrer on his way down. He’s such a fighter and solid player.

Daniel Says:

Andy digging deep. was 2-5 down 15-30, now 1 point to tie 5-5. Hope he can steal this fourth and close it out. No 5th set ealry on, he needs the more energy he can get, specially since DelPo is fresh as Almagro had to retire.

Daniel Says:

Agree TV, Top half has a bucn of interesting contest ahead. Actually we don´t have a clew who will be in semis. On paper, ranking should be Murray and Wawa (specially now that Wawa got 4 wins last week in Geneva and 2 straight sets win this week).

But we also have DelPo (semis before), Kei and Cuevas (fighter) on Murray side, wouldn´t be surpised if any of these are in semis replacing Murray.

And in Wawa side there is Fognini (who plays Wawa next), Gasquet, Monfils, Kyrgios and Cilic. Wouldn´t be surpsied if any of these are in semis as well replacing Wawa.

Daniel Says:

^have a clue..^

Daniel Says:

The bottom half is certain in semis: either Nadal x Djoko or Nadal x Thiem. Any other match is just formality to reach there. Maybe Thiem x Goffin could be a contest. But the question is only who Nadal will face in semis.

Margot Says:

Bloody hell, that was some scrap!

AndyMira Says:

@M!…How do u feel after see Andy play today?There’s a lot of his famous incredible retrieve and defense out there…Btw…congrats for Andy wins today…

Willow Says:

TV I Did like him, but that incident against Lokoli the other day promptly put me off him, some things do i have to say, when it comes to words and actions, and when he shouted Allez to taunt the crowd, when Lokoli DFed, however i still wish Lokoli had shook hands with him and kept his dignity, even if he didnt want to , but thats just me ….

Daniel Says:

Andy x DelPo it is. 2 potentially great R32 together with Wawa x Foggy.

Margot Says:

AM: some fab shots, some awful decisions, some lapses of concentration but fire in the end…A typical Andy match in fact, leaving his fans shredded Lol.
Some worrying elbow shaking tho. Courier was saying Isner had same injury last year and took him 6 months to get over it.

Daniel Says:

Kyrgios out.
Starting to think he will go the Tomic path.

Zverev may be still inconsistant but tou can’t see the comitment to improve and be at the top os there. Kyrgios is never gonna “happen”.

Open path for Cilic, he can go to QF under the radar now.

J-Kath Says:

Now Andy, start getting your first serve in…you’ll need it against Del Potro But congrats on your doggedness. Hope that elbow you occasionally had to wiggle becomes 100% recovered.

PS: RZ: Had never actually seen Klizan in form before – now know what you mean – the power behind those forehands – geez!

RZ Says:

@J-Kath – I watched Klizan a couple of years ago at Indian Wells and remember thinking he should be ranked higher.

@Daniel – until Kyrgios gets a proper coach and puts some discipline into his game, I think his career will be all about the occasional big upset.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Daniel, if I agree with you on Kyrgios, he will obviously go on a tear at Wimbledon, so I’ll agree with you.

I really believed this was his year; maybe clay is not for him though, he had a very good first hardcourt season.

gonzalowski Says:

Maybe it’s a problem for Kyrgios the way he thinks (or at least he says) about clay; “don’t like it.. it’s dirty… and so on”
It can’t be good, at the end you believe it and don’t get to your high.
I don’t remember Rafa doing that, for example.

(I’m studying an exam about cognitive psycho and so, these ideas are about it ;)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Gonalzowski, you can be our resident expert on mental statuses.

Not much excitement in the match-ups tomorrow. The better ones are the lesser-headlines: Pouille vs ARV, Dmitrov vs PCB, Raonic vs GGL, and the non-acronym match, Thiem vs Johnson.

AndyMira Says:

@M 11:51am… doubt there’s so many drama,up and downs,amazing winners and UE’s..but,most importantly the fighting spirit and mental strength is coming back bit by bit…of course it will take time to get back to his 2016 form M[or at least 'close to 2016']…Remember,rafa took 2 years to overcame his injuries,self confident and self belief…Andy will do the same M….

J-Kath Says:

Tennis Vagabond @ 10.43am

“Yes, we all expect Rafa to win.” YES.

“But there’s a lot of good match-ups coming first. And wouldn’t a Stan/Rafa final be a cracker?” YES!

But it won’t happen.

Margot Says:

Who’s going to take Stan out, Kath?

J-Kath Says:

I don’t think Andy has self-belief problems – unless he has another bout of “I can’t move” as in first match. But he definitely has less-than-perfect-health e.g. elbow rotation and coughing today. However, he has improved – to get thru Del Potro on Saturday he will need increased success in his first serve.

RZ Says:

Verdasco followed up his round 1 win with a 5-setter over PHH

J-Kath Says:

Margot: For your info. there is a surprising gap between postings e.g. your comment at 1.48 pm wasn’t on my screen when I posted at 2.03pm!!! To answer your question:

To cut to the chase: (a)Stan has not impressed me even though he has easily won his current matches (You may remember Stan is one of my real favourites so saying this is not wishful thinking on my part). (b) Del Potro who might have or might not have won today has a 50% of winning against Andy & if he wins, will also win against Stan. And (c) Cilic seems to have gained new confidence and honing of skills and can beat Stan.

Stan has done well to clear his path without difficulty but has not really faced tough opposition. And lordie, if Andy can advance with all his niggles and coughs – might even do it himself….a long shot though.

Am away after Tuesday on various commitments – may even miss some of the last week….ugh, ugh….or maybe a good thing.

Hope your bracket works for you.

Margot Says:

Cheers Kath. my bracket is not kind to Andy so I hope I LOSE totally!
Stan’s game can catch fire so will be interesting to see how he progresses. Likewise I haven’t been impressed with JMDP.
I’ve got commitments end next week too. Try to keep slams free whatever usually. Boo :(

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