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Defending Champs Arevalo/Rojer Charge On At Roland Garros

  • Posted: Jun 01, 2023

Defending Champs Arevalo/Rojer Charge On At Roland Garros

Arevalo/Rojer will next play Murray/Venus

Defending Roland Garros champions Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer cruised into the third round in Paris on Thursday with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nicolas Barrientos and Robert Galloway.

The third seeds were forced to battle in the first round against Stefanos Tsitsipas and Petros Tsitsipas, whom they ultimately outlasted in a final-set tie-break. Their second-round clash was more straightforward — they did not face a break point.

Arevalo and Rojer will next play 13th seeds Jamie Murray and Michael Venus, who defeated Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-1, 7-5. Venus won the Roland Garros title in 2017 alongside Ryan Harrison.

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In other second-round action, fifth seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara squeaked by Ilya Ivashka and Alexei Popyrin 7-6(3), 7-5. Tenth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos ousted Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-0, 6-3.

Seventh seeds Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski, this year’s Australian Open finalists, beat home hopes Richard Gasquet and Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-2.

In a first-round match, 12th seeds Matwe Middelkoop and Andreas Mies eliminated Alexander Bublik and Marton Fucsovics 6-3, 6-1.

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Zverev Cruises On, Fritz Advances At Roland Garros

  • Posted: Jun 01, 2023

Zverev Cruises On, Fritz Advances At Roland Garros

German next plays Tiafoe

Is this the fortnight Alexander Zverev wins his first major title?

The German maintained his impressive record at Roland Garros on Thursday when he cruised past Slovakian Alex Molcan 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 to reach the third round for the seventh time.

In a dominant display, Zverev opened his shoulders to hit through Molcan, striking 42 winners in the night session on Court Philippe-Chatrier to advance after one hour and 58 minutes in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.

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Zverev is a two-time semi-finalist in Paris, having suffered a right ankle injury against Rafael Nadal in the last four last year. Twelve months on and the 26-year-old is fully fit and firing again at Roland Garros, where he will meet Frances Tiafoe in the third round. The 12th-seeded American downed Madrid semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the third round for the third time.

Zverev, who defeated Lloyd Harris in straight sets in his first-round match, now holds a 25-7 record at Roland Garros. Earlier this season, the 22nd seed reached semi-finals on hard in Dubai and on clay in Geneva.

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Taylor Fritz defeated Arthur Rinderknech, the last remaining Frenchman in the singles draw, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 to equal his best result at Roland Garros.

The American, who is making his seventh apperance in Paris, hit cleanly throughout the two-hour, 50-minute clash to seal his 31st tour-level win of the season.

The ninth seed Fritz next meets Francisco Cerundolo. The Argentine overcame German lucky loser Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

In other second-round action, Borna Coric clawed past Argentine Pedro Cachin 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The Croatain Coric, who is 9-4 on clay this season, will next meet another Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry. Etcheverry defeated Australian Alex de Minaur 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3.

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Preview: Alcaraz Faces Shapovalov, Djokovic & Tsitsipas In Action

  • Posted: Jun 01, 2023

Preview: Alcaraz Faces Shapovalov, Djokovic & Tsitsipas In Action

Third-round play commences on Friday

Third-round action commences on Friday at Roland Garros, where Top 5 stars Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas continue their title quests at the clay-court major. previews some of the best third-round matchups to watch in the top half of the singles draw on Day 6 in Paris.

[1] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. [26] Denis Shapovalov (CAN)

Top seed Alcaraz found his range during his opening two matches, defeating Flavio Cobolli in straight sets before he moved past Taro Daniel in four. Chasing his second major title this fortnight, the 20-year-old will face his toughest test yet when he takes on the 26th Denis Shapovalov for the first time.

Possessing an explosive game, the Canadian has the ability to hit through Alcaraz, who will look to use his variety to disrupt the 24-year-old. Shapovalov struck a combined 88 winners in his victories against Brandon Nakashima and Matteo Arnaldi earlier this week to reach the third round in Paris for the first time. He was full of praise for Alcaraz when asked about the Spaniard ahead of their meeting.

“I’m a huge, huge fan of his,” Shapovalov said. “He’s super humble for achieving what he has at such a young age. You can see how much he enjoys being on the court and the situations that are coming to him. He is not in an easy spot being No. 1 and so young and with so much noise around him. I really look up to him.”

Alcaraz, who advanced to the quarter-finals last year, takes a 32-3 season record into the Court Philippe-Chatrier night session match.

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[3] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [29] Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP)

Djokovic has not put a foot wrong in his chase for a record 23rd major title in Paris so far, defeating Aleksandar Kovacevic and Marton Fucsovics in straight sets. Next up is Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who stunned the World No. 3 on clay in Monte-Carlo last year.

Djokovic will be required to absorb Davidovich Fokina’s firepower on Court Philippe-Chatrier if he is to continue his title pursuit in Paris, where he has triumphed in 2016 and 2021. The 36-year-old Serbian is chasing a double prize at Roland Garros, where a title run would lift him back to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

The focus will be fully on Davidovich Fokina for now, though, with Djokovic taking a 2-1 ATP Head2Head series lead into the clash.

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[5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. Diego Schwartzman (ARG)

Former finalist Tsitsipas will renew his rivalry with Diego Schwartzman when they meet in the third round. The Greek, who lost in the title match against Djokovic in 2021, leads Schwartzman 4-2 in their ATP Head2Head series, but the Argentine heads into the match with confidence.

The 30-year-old Schwartzman arrived in Paris holding a 5-14 record on the season, but the 2020 semi-finalist has re-found his level this week, defeating Bernabe Zapata Miralles and Nuno Borges. Tsitsipas, who is seeking his maiden major title and first crown of the season, will aim to end Schwartzman’s resurgence on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Also In Action…

Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev also take to court on Friday, facing Thanasi Kokkinakis and Lorenzo Sonego, respectively. Australian Kokkinakis earned his first five-set victory since 2015 when he clawed past Stan Wawrinka in a Roland Garros second-round epic.

The 14th seed Cameron Norrie plays 17th seed Lorenzo Musetti on Court Simonne-Mathieu, while 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz takes on Juan Pablo Varillas.

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Sinner: 'I Will Come Back Stronger'

  • Posted: Jun 01, 2023

Sinner: ‘I Will Come Back Stronger’

Italian lost in five sets against Altmaier

After five hours and 26 minutes of brutal hitting, Jannik Sinner’s European clay swing came to an end on Thursday when he fell in five sets against Daniel Altmaier at Roland Garros.

Sinner was disappointed with his second-round defeat but was keen to focus on the bigger picture.

“I had my opportunities. I couldn’t find a right way how to win the points,” said Sinner, who squandered two match points in the fourth set. “I was a little bit unfortunate at some points. But this is the sport. I will come back stronger.

“I knew it was a tough last two tournaments. I put a little bit too much expectations or pressure [on myself], it’s part of the game. I feel like the season is going good. I played a lot of matches… It is a tough one to swallow, but I [will] keep going.”

Sinner leaves Roland Garros holding an 8-3 record on clay in 2023. The eighth seed advanced to the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo but struggled to find his best level in Paris and Rome, where he lost in the fourth round.

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The Italian withdrew from Barcelona last month due to injury, but insisted physical issues did not play an impact on his early exit in Paris.

“I felt very prepared for here. Mentally I felt good. Physically we were working hard,” Sinner said. “Long, long practice sessions. It’s tough when you work so hard and you don’t take the reward. But this is not a sprint. This sport is a marathon. I will keep going with the hard work, and I will also get my rewards. This was, it’s a tough one, yes, but it doesn’t end here.”

Sinner heads to the grass fifth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, holding a 29-8 record on the season. The Italian, who reached the Miami final, admitted qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals is a key goal of his.

“This year we set a goal to go to Turin,” Sinner said. “Also, a little bit you have to watch out for the results, but I also feel like I have lots of things where I can improve still.”

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Foki's Djokovic Battle Plan: 'You Have To Take It To Him'

  • Posted: Jun 01, 2023

Foki’s Djokovic Battle Plan: ‘You Have To Take It To Him’

Spaniard defeated the Serbian last year in Monte-Carlo

Editor’s note: This story was translated from

Novak Djokovic will take to court at Roland Garros on Friday knowing that his opponent won their last match.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat the Serbian in Monte-Carlo in April last year in an intense three-set clash. The two players meet again on Friday in Paris as they both chase a place in the third round of the season’s second Grand Slam.

“It’s completely different to Monte-Carlo,” said the World No. 34 Davidovich Fokina. “Here it’s five sets, and there he’d hardly played any matches… We all know what Djokovic is like. He’s a legend. Playing against him will be an honour, as will returning to [Court] Philippe-Chatrier.

“I’m going to be ready. I’m playing at a good level, I’ve been very relaxed for two matches, competing at a high level. I can’t wait to keep doing that for another match.”

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“It was a strange match at the start of the clay season, when I tend to be a long way from my best,” concurred the two-time Roland Garros champion Djokovic when asked about his memories of his defeat in Monaco. “[Davidovich Fokina] is a specialist on the surface, a player who has progressed a lot in recent years, and he’s defeated several good players this season, including [Holger] Rune in Madrid.

“He’s a complete player and he’s capable of playing at a very high level, definitely one of the toughest opponents you could meet in the third round. I know that he will prepare well with the intention of winning, but I believe in myself.”

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The 23-year-old Davidovich Fokina is about to face one of the biggest challenges in the game: beating Djokovic in a Grand Slam. However, it seems to be one he is relishing. His words ooze confidence and he has a clear plan that he thinks can carry him to victory.

“I know Djokovic pretty well, I’ve also watched him a lot on TV,” said Davidovich Fokina. “We’ve practised a couple of times in Marbella, and I get on well with his team. Of course, he’s quite intimidating, but when you play against him several times you see that he is another player who can be beaten. You can’t be afraid, you have to take it to him.”

Davidovich Fokina reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in 2021, when he bowed out to Alexander Zverev. Djokovic is bidding for his third title in Paris, and if he is successful he will set a new record for Grand Slam titles (23), surpassing Rafael Nadal (22). Despite his Monte-Carlo defeat to Davidovich Fokina, Djokovic leads 2-1 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series.

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Ruud Battles Into Round Three At Roland Garros

  • Posted: Jun 01, 2023

Ruud Battles Into Round Three At Roland Garros

2022 finalist to meet Tirante or Zhang in third round

Casper Ruud continues to build early momentum at Roland Garros.

The fourth seed overcame a spirited second-round challenge from Giulio Zeppieri on Thursday at the clay-court major, where he downed the Italian qualifier 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Ruud delivered a high-class all-around display for much of the three-hour, four-minute encounter, although Zeppieri deployed his gritty lefty game to good effect to gain a foothold in the match and clinch the third set. The Norwegian’s consistently deep groundstrokes proved decisive to his victory as he converted five of 13 break points overall to reach the Roland Garros third round for the fifth year in a row.

“It was a tough match,” said Ruud in his on-court interview. “I started well, got a break early and served well myself. That’s the beauty of best-of-five sets. In a normal match I would have won 6-3, 6-2, but here you have the chance to fight like he did. He played much better in the third set and the fourth set, and it became very tough.

“In the end there also, I served for the match, and he played well, and it gets pretty physical out here. So, I’m very happy to come through and not having to play a fifth set was nice today. I have extra time to recover for my next match.”

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After a stellar 2022 in which he lifted three ATP Tour trophies, reached the championship match at Roland Garros and the US Open, and reached a career-high No. 2 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Ruud has struggled for consistency this season. The Norwegian claimed his 10th tour-level crown in Estoril in April but has also suffered some surprise early exits.

A semi-final run last month at the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome suggested Ruud was regaining his confidence on the biggest stage, however, and his impressive start to Roland Garros will increase belief that he can forge another deep run in Paris. Although the conditions have been warmer than during his standout run last year, the 24-year-old showcased his ability to adjust with a largely rock-solid showing against Zeppieri in which he made just 28 unforced errors to his opponent’s 51.

“So far quite good, but still many matches to play in the tournament,” said Ruud. “I’m just happy to be here, happy to win my first two matches… These are perfect playing conditions if you ask me. Twenty-four or 25 degrees, sunny, beautiful Paris. There’s a lot of things to enjoy on this court and in this tournament.”

The No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Ruud now holds a 14-5 record at Roland Garros, where he reached the championship match in 2022. The 24-year-old continues his latest campaign in the French capital with a third-round clash against China’s Zhang Zhizhen or Argentine qualifier Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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