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French Open PIX: Djoko dismantles Carballes; Zverev sees off Goffin

Last updated on: May 30, 2024 22:08 IST

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic in action during his second round match against Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Defending champion Novak Djokovic was very briefly made to work hard by unseeded Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena before sealing a routine 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory and motoring into the French Open third round on Thursday.

Djokovic has been some way from his convincing best in an erratic season where he is bidding to win a record 25th Grand Slam title and the top-seeded Serbian was dragged into a battle by Carballes Baena after recovering an early break.


Having nosed ahead on serve in the ninth game, the 37-year-old Djokovic set up break point with a big overhead smash after a 24-shot rally and pounced to take the first set as spectators on Court Philippe Chatrier sensed a return to a more familiar level.

Djokovic moved up a few notches in the next set for a 4-0 lead before his 31-year-old opponent even got on the board and the three-times Roland Garros champion tightened his vice-like grip on the contest in double quick time.

The pair's previous two encounters were both at hardcourt majors but the outcome was no different on Parisian clay as Djokovic sauntered ahead 5-1 in the third set and wrapped up the victory.

IMAGE: Alexander Zverev in action during his second round match against Belgium's David Goffin. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters

World number four Alexander Zverev reached the French Open third round with a 7-6 (4) 6-2 6-2 victory over experienced Belgian David Goffin on Thursday.

The German, who ousted 14-times champion Rafael Nadal in the opening round, had to work hard to win the first-set tiebreak but broke early in the second.

Former quarter-finalist Goffin nearly broke Zverev's serve in the fourth game but the German held firm, mixing up his game well to close out the match.

"I was happy that I ran away with it but also happy that I played well," said Zverev, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the 2022 French Open semi-finals.

Zverev will next face Italian Luciano Darderi or Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor.

IMAGE: Aryna Sabalenka in action during her second round match against Japan's Moyuka Uchijima. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka beat Japanese qualifier Moyuka Uchijima 6-2 6-2 under the roof on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Thursday to move into the French Open third round.

Uchijima, playing in the second round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, could not cope with Sabalenka's powerful serve and groundstrokes.

Sabalenka won six points in a row at the start of the match but once Uchijima had overcome her nerves she settled down against the Belarusian.

Uchijima held her serve but when she trailed 3-2, Sabalenka pounced on a break point with a fierce winner before taking the first set in 29 minutes.

The Japanese number one wore a sombre expression during the changeover before the second set and she had no answer to the power of Sabalenka who also played some telling drop shots.

Uchijima afforded herself a smile when she got the better of the Belarusian on a long rally to make it 4-2 but Sabalenka refocused to save a break point before breaking the Japanese player's serve to seal victory.

IMAGE: Daniil Medvedev in action during his second round match against Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters

Medvedev through as Kecmanovic retires injured

Daniil Medvedev cantered into the French Open third round when his Serbian opponent, Miomir Kecmanovic, retired due to injury on Thursday.

World number 57 Kecmanovic called on the trainer when he was trailing 6-1 5-0 on court Suzanne Lenglen on another humid, grey day in Paris.

Russian fifth seed Medvedev, who has never made it past the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, will next face either Argentina's Mariano Navone or Czech Tomas Machac.

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