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Rediff.com  » Sports » French Open PIX: Halep rallies to advance; Djokovic, Kvitova through

French Open PIX: Halep rallies to advance; Djokovic, Kvitova through

Last updated on: May 30, 2018 23:38 IST

IMAGES from matches played on Day 4 of the French Open at Roland Garros on Wednesday

Romania's Simona Halep plays backhand during first round match against United States' Alison Riske

IMAGE: Romania's Simona Halep plays backhand during first round match against United States' Alison Riske. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

World number one and top seed Simona Halep recovered from a horrible first set to reach the second round of the French Open with a 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over Alison Riske of the United States on Wednesday.

Halep slumped to 0-5  in the opening set to world number 83 Riske whose only win at the tournament came in 2014.

 

The Romanian, a runner-up in 2014 and 2017, committed 16 unforced errors in the set but stepped up a gear from that point on to book a second-round match against Taylor Townsend of the United States.

Off-target Djokovic does enough to reach round three

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic of Serbia serves during the second round match against Jaume Munar of Spain. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic's target practice often failed to hit the bullseye but that did not prevent the Serbian eking out a 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-4 second round win over Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar.

The Serb started off by serving a fault, ended the opening game with a double fault and fired plenty of wayward shots wide and long as he tried to subdue the 155th-ranked Munar.

Djokovic was so restless that after being broken in the ninth game of the first set, instead of sitting down and taking in some fluids, he simply walked over to the other side of the net and went through the motions of playing some air shots.

While it was obvious his game is still a long way from the form he produced to win four slams on the trot from 2015 to 2016, his surgically repaired elbow got a workout before he set up a third-round clash with Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.

Zverev survives test of nerve in Paris

Alexander Zverev

IMAGE: Germany's Alexander Zverev in action during his second round match against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Alexander Zverev eventually controlled his nerves to reach the French Open third round with a 2-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

The second-seeded German smashed a racket in frustration before finding his groove and setting up a meeting with 26th- seeded Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.

Zverev has yet to reach the last eight at a Grand Slam but his huge talent told in the end against the world number 60.

The 21-year-old Zverev had to cope with the frustration of an error-riddled start of the match.

He dropped serve twice in the opening set as Lajovic kept his cool and held serve to take the lead on Court One.

Lajovic toyed with the German, who lost his temper when he was broken in the third game of the second set and crushed his racket in frustration.

Horrible unforced errors and ill-timed rushes to the net followed as Zverev struggled for control but he broke back for 3-3 and regained his composure to convert his first set point on Lajovic's serve to level the match.

There were more jitters, though, as he trailed 2-1 in the third when he dropped serve on a double fault. Lajovic went on to bag the set and Zverev had his back to the wall.

But the German, who leads the ATP Race, was fully focused as he raced through the fourth set by sticking closer to the baseline and he ended the match with an unreturnable serve.

Impressive Kvitova eases in French Open last 32

Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova plays a forehand during her second round match against Spain's Lara Arruabarrena

IMAGE: Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova plays a forehand during her second round match against Spain's Lara Arruabarrena. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Eighth seed Petra Kvitova eased into the French Open third round with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Spain's Lara Arruabarrena.

The two-time Wimbledon champion will face either Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru or Estonia's 25th seed Anett Kontaveit for a place in the last 16.

Czech Kvitova has not reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros since a run to the last four in 2012.

The 28-year-old raced through the opening set in only 24 minutes, and although she was pegged back after an early break in the second, a booming forehand sealed victory with a third straight game.

Svitolina canters into third round in Paris

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in action during her second round match against Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova

IMAGE: Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in action during her second round match against Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Elina Svitolina saw off Roland Garros debutante Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round.

The Ukrainian fourth seed, coming off a successful defence of her title in Rome, played solid tennis throughout to set up a meeting with Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Kuzmova, having beaten 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone in the first round, was no pushover in the opening set but there was little she could do when the Ukrainian stepped up a gear.

After an early trade of breaks in the second set, Svitolina, twice a quarter-finalist in Paris, broke her opponent's serve again for 4-3 and held to close it out without a scare.

'Road-trip Marco' runs out of gas in Paris

Argentina's Marco Trungelliti in action during his second round match against Italy's Marco Cecchinato in their 2nd round match

IMAGE: Argentina's Marco Trungelliti in action during his second round match against Italy's Marco Cecchinato in their 2nd round match. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Marco Trungelliti's Roland Garros adventure came to an end on Wednesday, when the Argentine who made an 11th-hour, 1,000km hire car dash with his 88-year-old granny to reach the tournament on time, finally ran out of gas.

Trungelliti, who drove from Barcelona with his grandmother, mother and younger brother to sign in as a Lucky Loser to claim a place in the main draw, was beaten 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-1 by Italian Marco Cecchinato.

It was a low-key exit for the man who had been the talk of the tournament, but having beaten Australia's Bernie Tomic in his opener, his exploits over the last few days have earned him 79,000 euros ($91,860).

Paire falls short, but Nishikori faces another French test

Kei Nishikori

IMAGE: Japan's Kei Nishikori in action during his second round match against France's Benoit Paire. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Fiery Benoit Paire toyed with and teased the emotions of his fellow Frenchmen for a smidgen shy of three hours on Wednesday, before bowing out of his home Grand Slam in the second round.

Beaten 6-3, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 by Japan's Kei Nishikori - a former US Open runner-up and 19th seed in Paris - the 29-year-old showed flashes of brilliance and, at two sets to one up, large sections of the crowd had started to believe.

It was a typically flamboyant performance from Paire who, with his bushy black beard and dyed white hair, cuts quite a figure on the Roland Garros clay.

But despite all the drop shots, the pummelled backhands and the animated pleas to the crowd for support, it proved not to be enough.

The expected stormclouds stayed away but the crowd was denied what it yearned for: a French victor in this most French of arenas.

Nishikori's compact, safety-first game was met with mute indifference by the otherwise boisterous supporters who roared their approval and leapt up from their seats every time Paire struck a blow.

The French tennis crowd have always been enthusiastic embracers of the 'Mexican Wave' and time and time again it swirled through the stands as Paire's supporters willed their man to win.

Nishikori, though - as quiet as Paire is animated, as careful as Paire is hit-and-miss - refused to be diverted from him mission.

Nishikori next faces another Frenchman Gilles Simon - and patriotic crowd - after Simon beat 12th seed Sam Querrey. If the Japanese baseliner is to go deep in this tournament, he will have to do it the hard way.

Dimitrov survives Donaldson dogfight to reach third round

Grigor Dimitrov

IMAGE: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov celebrates winning his second round match against Jared Donaldson of the US. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Claycourt tennis has never come easy for silky Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and his struggle to master the dirt was evident again in a four-hour dogfight with Jared Donaldson in the French Open second round.

Try as he could on a sun-baked Court 18, fourth seed Dimitrov could never tame the 57th-ranked American youngster but he eventually prevailed 6-7(2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 to collect the 50th Grand Slam win of his career.

Twice he needed to serve to stay in the match in the deciding set before breaking a cramping Donaldson to love in the 15th game, only to drop serve immediately.

Dimitrov broke again, though, at 9-9 and at the second time of asking he brought up match point with his 17th ace and sealed victory with a hefty first serve.

It is only the third time the 27-year-old has reached the third round at Roland Garros in eight attempts and he has never gone further -- a surprisingly poor record for a player blessed with such a wide range of weapons.

Things will not get any easier if Dimitrov is to break new ground with Spaniard Fernando Verdasco next up.

Donaldson did little wrong and was 0-30 when Dimitrov served at 5-6 in the decider, only for the Bulgarian to unleash a succession of winners to stay alive.

The 21-year-old served an underarm second serve to hold serve in the next game as he was clearly struggling physically but Dimitrov eventually scrambled over the line.

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