Zverev Made To Fight At French Open, Del Potro Wins; Nadal, Federer Return
by Staff | May 28th, 2019, 5:13 pm

Following a tough week in Geneva, it didn’t get any easier for World No. 5 Alexander Zverev in his French Opener Tuesday. The German was the big favorite against John Millman who never before had won a match in Paris.

Zverev jumped out to an early break but once the Australian broke back, one could sense it would be another long day for Zverev. Eventually, Zverev broke at 4-all in the fifth and closed out Millman, denying the 29-year-old another Federer-like shocker.

Zverev, who had to go the distance in his last three matches in Geneva, was again pushed to the limit by a much lower ranked opponent.

“It’s been a few not easy weeks, easy months for me, personally as well,” Zverev said after the 4-hour, 8-minute tussle on Chatrier. “So I just reminded myself that I’m still one of the best tennis players in the world and just reminded myself a little bit that everything is good and [that I’m going] to get another opportunity to play here in the second round and just point out some positive things.”

Zverev, who made his lone Slam quarterfinal here last year, will now meet young Swedish qualifier Michael Ymer.

At the same time as the Zverev drama, 2018 finalist Juan Martin del Potro also found himself in some trouble on Lenglen, down a set before rallying on the man Zverev beat in the Geneva final, Nicolas Jarry. Del Potro advanced over his fellow 6-foot-6 South American 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.

“I didn’t have much energy,” admitted Del Potro. “I had never played against him and also the weather conditions (were not good)… It’s not wonderful to start a match like that. It’s something I have to improve in the future. Throughout the match, I felt better. I started dictating the game.”

Next for Delpo is the much smaller Yoshito Nishioka who eliminated American Mackenzie McDonald in five sets.

On the final day of the third round, Karen Khachanov and Fabio Fognini were also Top 10 seeded winners. Fognini ousted countryman and good friend Andreas Seppi in four sets.

Elsewhere, Taylor Fritz continued his good clay spring becoming the only American man to make the second round with a win over the troubled Bernard Tomic. After the match, Tomic wasn’t having any part of the French Open or France in general.

Kyle Edmund closed out Jeremy Chardy winning the last two games after their Monday night suspension at 5-all in the fifth. France did get a few through today as Lucas Pouille, Greroire Barrere, Antoine Hoang and Elliot Benchitrit were all winners. And they weren’t done.

Gael Monfils and Taro Daniel met in the last match on Chatrier and the Frenchmen got through 6-0, 6-4, 6-1 just as the sun was setting after 9:30pm.

“I really wanted to finish today. I didn’t want to play a set tomorrow,” Monfils said. “I’m happy I managed to play well, and I’m very happy about that.

“I paid a price at the beginning of the second set because I was too fast from the back of the court, and I could have waited a bit to slow down, ease the pressure. And then luckily I was able to win this very long game at 5-4 and go two sets to love,” Monfils added. “It’s not easy. But two sets to love, I was quite happy to win this game for one good reason. I was serving afterwards, and I was going to put a lot of pressure, serve very hard, to show that I want to go faster.”

Monfils will face Adrian Mannarino who ended about the same time as Monfils, but needed five sets to beat Stefano Travaglia.

And in the oldest combined age match in the Open Era at the French, 40-year-old Ivo Karlovic edged 37-year-old Feliciano Lopez in four sets.

On Wednesday, the second round begins with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer back in action against unheralded Germans. Nadal will meet qualifier Yannick Maden while Federer resumes his return to Roland Garros against lucky loser Oscar Otte.

Stefanos Tsitsipas also is on the schedule and in the best match of the day, Kei Nishikori and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lock up in a rematch of their 2015 quarterfinal won by Tsonga.

Court Philippe CHATRIER Début à 11h00
Kei NISHIKORI (JPN) [7] v Jo-Wilfried TSONGA (FRA)
Oscar OTTE (GER) v Roger FEDERER (SUI) [3]
Viktoria KUZMOVA (SVK) v Kiki BERTENS (NED) [4]

Court Suzanne LENGLEN Début à 11h00
Kateryna KOZLOVA (UKR) v Elina SVITOLINA (UKR)[9]
Yannick MADEN (GER) v Rafael NADAL (ESP) [2]
Petra MARTIC (CRO) [31] v Kristina MLADENOVIC (FRA)
Benoit PAIRE (FRA) v Pierre-Hugues HERBERT (FRA)

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17 Comments for Zverev Made To Fight At French Open, Del Potro Wins; Nadal, Federer Return

RZ Says:

After the first round, our Racquet Bracket leader is Chico, who is just one point ahead of AM.

Some of the Racquet Bracket stats…This bracket has perhaps the least diverse picks of any of our previous ones. All 15 entrants chose Nadal to make the semis, with 14 of us having him in the final and 9 of us choosing him as the winner. The next most popular pick was Djokovic, with 13 picking him in the semis, 9 picking him to make the final, and 5 picking him to win the tournament. The other players chosen to make the final are Thiem, DelPo, and Federer, with one person picking Federer to win the tournament. With so many similar picks, any of these 3 guys making the final could determine the winner of the Bracket.

The other guys chosen to make the semis are Tsitsipas (no surprise), Zverev (no surprise though this pick comes with a lot of faith), and Benchetrit (surprise!!!). As crazy as the Benchetrit picks sounded to me, I looked him up and saw that he had a very easy and quick win over Cam Norrie today, so props to whoever chose him and next time please share your insider information! A strong showing by Benchetrit could also determine the bracket.

Andy Mira Says:

RZ..Thank u so much for setting up our Bracket once again…Really really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart…Tho,miss our usual contender in M…Hope she will be back for Wimby(miss u M!)…but,good luck to u & to the rest of the Bracketeers for the rest of the tournament…xxxx

RZ Says:

Hi AM, you are welcome and glad you are part of it again!

Andy Mira Says:

Hehe….Thanks RZ!

rajesh Says:

Bencherit is playing in place of nick kyrgios so the entrant choses nick for semis not encherit

j-k Says:

Guid morning Ladies – my computer has had a bout of sickness – hoping it has fully recovered. Good luck with your Bracket choices. Note some irritation re. Roger on the premier court and Rafa elsewhere. So who will win? – I’m guessing Novak – ouch !!!!!

j-kath Says:

Testing, testing

j-kath Says:

Sigh of relief – computer back from hospital.
Hi to RZ and AM: Good luck with u’re bracket
– sounds like some dandruff present between court allocation re. Roger and Rafa? From the little I’ve read, Novak is high on expectations to win?????

Andy Mira Says:

“Note some irritation re. Roger on the premier court and Rafa elsewhere. So who will win? – I’m guessing Novak – ouch !!!!!”

Hahahahaha!!….Yeah…well…what can we say bout that…Lucky Roger…He’s very privileged in this life…Alhamdulillah Rafa seems don’t care much about it based on his result atm…That’s all that matters….

Btw,thank u for your wishes JK…I’m still hoping u will join us all in the Bracket one day…insyaallah…xx

RZ Says:

Thanks Rajesh. That makes sense, though it would have been more fun if he/she had deliberately chosen Bencherit.

j-kath Says:

A-M: Waiting for 2 different painting outfits; one plumber, electrician, joiner…I’ll be lucky if I can go to the “Ladies” on my own….or even switch on computer…boo hoo. U need to get Margo back. Anyways – well done Rafa – still playing with conviction.

Daniel Says:

Roger will almost assured to play Lenglen next match. They will rotate them this early rounds and from R16 on they will be on Chatrier until, maybe they collide. This was expected with both playing same side same day. And Nadal is a more sure bet to win as Fed may have an off day any time, RG needs to drain his Chatrier presence LOL.

Andy Mira Says:

JK…Good luck with all the ‘fun’ task at hand….I’m pretty sure the outcome will be amazing!

jatin Says:

Its so much fun to watch Fed on French Open. He is literally dancing on the court right now, with amazing forehands, slices, drop shots.
Clay show a different type of artistic tennis from him.
Its all bonus but I am loving what I am seeing from Fed here.
Keep going Fed :)

RZ Says:

Another good win for Mahut, surprisingly easy over Kohlschreiber. And despite his good claycourt run, Garin lost quite quickly to Wawrinka.

Daniel Says:

Indeed jatin,

But his problem with clay is once he starts playing a more consistant opponent with better return, they will grind him more, he gets more tired, serve doesn’t work as well and he tends to not take control of the court and is kept back. This is the key for players against him. Once they are able to return deep and keep him from attacking the court with deep shots they can drag him.

Even so, this year his form is better than last year apart from AO 18´’. And this clay swing will do him wonders long term this season I think.

Right now he is aiming QF, to face Wawa or Tsisi who could both beat him. Anything beyond that is a bonus.
And losing to Nadal on yet another RG match at 37 won’t change anything, but this time he may play more freely with latest success he had agaisnt him.

Baby steps first, but his 1st 2 round on clay with just 1 service break lokks good. Even Nadal lost serve twice today.

skeezer Says:

Indeed Daniel Although it was great to see Fed in full flight, this guy hit pretty flat. Want to see Fed hit against someone with some heavy topspin. That will be coming up soon,….

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