Djokovic Advances In 3 While Zverev, Dimitrov, Nishikori Survive In 5 At French Open
by Staff | May 30th, 2018, 4:40 pm

It turned out to be quite a wild Wednesday as the second round began at the French Open. Novak Djokovic was the star attraction and the former champion wasn’t on par but managed to get through a tough Jaume Munar 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-4.

Rafa’s protege Munar hung right with Djokovic, breaking the Serb three times. But the Spaniard’s serve was broke five times and in the key moments, Djokovic was just a little better.

“Credit to him for fighting and playing well,” said Djokovic. “I went through my ups and downs, and [I’m] not really satisfied with the performance. I just played [well] enough in the right moments to win the match. So hopefully my level will increase and will get better in the next match.”

Djokovic will next face Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday.

Djokovic wasn’t the player top name to struggle. Several others did, but survived.

Alexander Zverev, Kei Nishikori and Grigor Dimitrov all found themselves down two sets to one but all three managed to escape in five.

Zverev, who’s had his struggles, outclassed Dusan Lajovic in the last two sets to win it 2-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 for his first 5-set win on the dirt.

“This is important, because I’m still in the tournament – so I have a chance to still play here,” said Zverev. “Obviously Dusan, at the moment and during the clay-court season, he’s [been] playing unbelievable. I knew it was not going to be an easy match. I didn’t play my best the first three sets, I thought. Once I found my range and rhythm, I felt good out there.

“I’m very happy to be here with a five-set win, somebody who has beaten great opponents during the clay court season. Obviously, it was not my best. I know that. There are still a few things I need to work on. Actually, in the fourth and fifth sets, I really felt good out there even though I was a little bit tired and a little bit fatigued. My serve started working better. I started playing from the baseline much better.”

Nishikori had a date with the unpredictable Benoit Paire. And the Frenchmen had the better of Nishikori early, but Kei wore Paire down in the end 6-3, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

In the match of the day, Grigor Dimitrov, who’s also struggled in Paris, was in trouble against Jared Donaldson, but thanks to some cramping at the finish line from the American, Dimitrov survived 6-7(2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 in four hours 20 minutes.

At the end, Donaldson was resorting to serving underhanded, with mixed success (winning one point, but losing another). He cramped away a break but Dimitrov couldn’t serving it out at 8-7. But he closed it out on his next chance.

“It’s great to win a match in five sets. I think it stays with you, you keep it, and especially on clay and out here,” Dimitrov said. “It was one of those matches that I didn’t play my best, but I managed a way to win. And when one thing wasn’t going well, the physical part was great.

Gael Monfils and David Goffin advanced to a Friday showdown. Fernando Verdasco also won as did Gilles Simon who eliminated Sam Querrey.

In the all-Marco affair, the feel-good story of Trugelitti came to an end at the racquet of Cecchinato 6-1, 7-6, 6-1.

In the conclusion of three first round matches, the three Frenchmen won as Jeremy Chardy got past Tomas Berdych in five, Julien Benneteau kept his final French Open hopes alive and Pierre-Hugues Herbert defeated Peter Polansky.

Two matches were suspended. Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas was stopped due to light after Thiem took a two set to one lead and Lucas Pouille couldn’t hold a break lead in the third and the Brit took to force a fourth at 9:42pm.

Tomorrow, Rafael Nadal returns against Guido Pella. Juan Martin del Potro is back to face Benneteau and big men John Isner, Kevin Anderson and Marin Cilic are in action. Denis Shapovalov continues his French run.

Court Philippe-Chatrier – Play starts at 11am
Marin CILIC (CRO) [3] vs Hubert HURKACZ (POL)
Not before 12pm
Lucas POUILLE (FRA) [15] vs Cameron NORRIE (GBR) To be completed: Pouille leads 6-2 6-4 5-7
Simona HALEP (ROU) [1] vs Taylor TOWNSEND (USA)
Julien BENNETEAU (FRA) vs Juan Martin DEL POTRO (ARG) [5]
Serena WILLIAMS (USA) vs Ashleigh BARTY (AUS) [17]

Court Suzanne-Lenglen – Play starts at 11am
Garbiñe MUGURUZA (ESP) [3] vs Fiona FERRO (FRA)
Malek JAZIRI (TUN) vs Richard GASQUET (FRA) [27]
Rafael NADAL (ESP) [1] vs Guido PELLA (ARG)
Shuai PENG (CHN) vs Caroline GARCIA (FRA) [7]

You Might Like:
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Nishikori Stops Del Potro’s DC Streak At 2am; Roanic, Zverev Advance But Thiem, Dimitrov Out
Kei Nishikori Withdraws From Wimbledon With A Calf Injury
Zverev Downs Dimitrov, Thiem Advances, Tsonga Withdraws; Wawrinka, Nishikori Tuesday In Rome
Nishikori Knocks Out Del Potro In Basel, Wawrinka Stunned By Elder Zverev

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18 Comments for Djokovic Advances In 3 While Zverev, Dimitrov, Nishikori Survive In 5 At French Open

lylenubbins Says:

Good on Zverev for pulling it out but telling comment that he was fatigued. He needs to fix that

Margot Says:

^ Well undoubtedly Jez Green has got that in hand. He’s so tall and skinny he needs to bulk up a bit, but not too much. Isner has fatigue issues too. JMDP often looks whacked. Perhaps you can be too tall for tennis? Unless you play like Karlovic, I suppose, but Sascha doesn’t.

Daniel Says:

Ramos Vinolas also joins Nadal as the only players to not have lost a set this side of the draw. Schwatrz also commanding for a 3 sets.

DelPo in control for a three set win. Coric through, maybe he will play Nadal in QF.

SG1 Says:

A lot of 5 setters and grueling 4 setters while Nadal is on cruise control.

skeezer Says:

^look at his opponents.

Daniel Says:

Indeed, Gasquet (R3) and don’t even know who in R4 is as easy as it can gets for Nadal. He may get Coric QF, Delo or Cilic semis and Djoko / Zverev / Thiem finals. Maybe this last 3 rounds he can be tested if the players are in their best. Anything less will be a boomer.

At least is just 5 more rounds and clay season, namely “Nadal season” is over;-)

Daniel Says:

But I am enjoying the matches, a lot of competitive ones and is kind of curious to see who will be finalist in bottom half.

Willow Says:

Gasquet is playing really well just saying ….

Willow Says:

The match against Bolleli was competitive even though Nadal won in straight sets ….

Willow Says:

The CC season will be over pretty soon, cant we just enjoy it and see what happens, nothings a gimmee, matches arent played on blogs they are played on a court, why all the vitriolic comments ?

Daniel Says:

Bolelli played tough but didn’t won a set. At least to me a close match requires the opponent winning at least one set, because it imply that they actually have a shot. Long 3 tiebreaks doesn’t change that the match was a straight set win.

Gasquet is 0-15 against Nadal having won only 4 sets. If any thing is vitriolic comment is imagining Gasquet has actually any chance.

Ahfi Says:

Surprised nobody is saying the draw is fixed for somebody to win. I guess the clay is slippery instead. Excuses excuses.

Willow Says:

Daniel i know Gasquet doesnt have a good record against Nadal ( which is an understatement i know ), i just think hes playing well, and tomorrow as they say is another day, and everything thats happened before doesnt matter, its the here and the now thats important, i dont ever take anything for granted, no harm or foul ….

Willow Says:

I Wouldnt be surprised if Nadal wins the title again, but i wouldnt be surprised if he doesnt ….

gonzalowski Says:

yes agree with Willow, it would be a disappointment for us, but not a big surprise, it can happen.

Ahfi, maybe to avoid this state of big favoritism Rafa try to express that things are not as easy as some say, and mention the difficulties he faces. As for the draw, I think it’s the first time he has such a favorable one, that I remember.

Gasquet, I don’t know if he will come out emboldened, or thinking about the wall in front of him. At any moment he shows possibilities, the crowd will animate ‘a full’.

Willow Says:

Gonzo well said, you will always get posters that try to put words into each others mouths ….

j-kath Says:

All Male favourites playing right now are under heavy artillery, Grigor and Sasha particularly….ahem!

Willow Says:

I Dont think fans of their favorites are likely to complain when they get a favorable draw, or getting through their matches easily ….

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