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Cressy/Lopez, Mektic/Pavic Reach Roland Garros 3rd Round

  • Posted: May 26, 2022

Cressy/Lopez, Mektic/Pavic Reach Roland Garros 3rd Round

Mektic/Pavic now on 11-match win streak

Paris-born American Maxime Cressy has picked up his first two tour-level doubles wins this week at Roland Garros alongside Spanish veteran Felciano Lopez, who eclipsed the 250-wins mark in doubles earlier this season. 

The first-time pairing improved to 2-0 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over 15th seeds Maximo Gonzalez and Marcelo Melo on Thursday in Paris. The American-Spanish duo dominated late in both sets, winning the final four games of the opener and the last two games of set two. On both occasions, they sealed the set with a break of serve.

Cressy/Lopez won 78 per cent (28/36) of their first-serve points and saved one of two break points against them in the match, holding in nine of their 10 service games, including their last eight. They await the winner of Friday’s second round matchup that pits top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury against Miomir Kecmanovic and Nicholas Monroe.

Also advancing to the last 16 on Thursday were second-seeded Croatians Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2 winners against Robin Haase and Raven Klaasen. After back-to-back defeats in Munich and Madrid, last year’s No. 1 team has won 11 consecutive matches, including title runs in Rome and Geneva.

Sixth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski were more clinical in a 6-3, 6-2 win over Hunter Reese and Ramkumar Ramanathan.

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Simon Notches 500th Win In Final Roland Garros

  • Posted: May 26, 2022

Simon Notches 500th Win In Final Roland Garros

Frenchman tops Johnson in straight sets

Gilles Simon survived a five-set thriller to extend his Roland Garros farewell in the opening round. After going the distance to upset Pablo Carreno Busta, he had an easier time of it on Thursday against American Steve Johnson.

The 37-year-old French wild card made the most of the Court Philippe Chatrier stage to earn his 500th match win with a 7-5, 6-1, 7-6(6) result, advancing to the third round in Paris for the first time since 2018. Just as in his Tuesday victory, he rode a wave of crowd support to get over the line, leaving the fans on the stadium court singing “Seven Nation Army” after he secured victory on his second match point.

The topsy-turvy contest included 11 breaks of serve, with Simon breaking seven times on 17 chances. The home favourite fell a double break behind at 0-3 in the opening set only to win four straight games to establish himself in the contest. 

From 5-all in the first set, he won seven straight games to take command of the match. But there were more twists in the third set, as Simon twice let a break advantage slip, including when he served for the match at 5-4. After playing for nearly four hours in the opening round, Simon avoided another marathon match by claiming a tight tie-break in which just three points went against serve.

Simon advances to face 20th seed Marin Cilic after the Croatian defeated Marton Fucsovics, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, earlier on Thursday. With one more victory, Simon will match his best run at his home Grand Slam by reaching the last 16 for what would be the fourth time (2011, 2013, 2015).

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Ruud, Rune Roll On In Paris

  • Posted: May 26, 2022

Ruud, Rune Roll On In Paris

#NextGenATP Dane Rune reaches third round on debut

Casper Ruud equalled his best result at Roland Garros Thursday, moving past Finn Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the third round for the fourth consecutive year.

The Norwegian, who defeated the retiring Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his opening match, looked comfortable throughout against Ruusuvuori and raised his level when required, saving all four break points he faced to advance after two hours and 10 minutes.

“It was [a] high-quality match from the first to the last point,” Ruud said in his post-match press conference. “I think we both played better than what we did in Barcelona. The level was a little bit higher. Emil is playing much better on clay. He’s moving better and playing well from the baseline.

“It was definitely a challenge. Even though it was three straight sets, there were some tough moments in the match, and some chances I didn’t get, but some chances I got. All in all, I’m very happy with the performance.”

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Day 5 Preview: Tsitsipas & Rublev Seek Third Round

The 23-year-old arrived in Paris in a confident mood after he captured his eighth tour-level title and seventh on clay in Geneva last week. Having made the short journey across from Switzerland, Ruud has quickly adjusted to the colder conditions at Roland Garros and has now won his past six matches.

The eighth seed will aim to advance to the fourth round for the first time in the French capital when he takes on Portugal’s Joao Sousa, whom Ruud defeated in the final in Geneva, or 32nd seed Lorenzo Sonego.

In front of a full crowd on Court 14, Ruud dictated the tempo throughout, with his consistent and deep groundstrokes pinning Ruusuvuori behind the baseline. The Norwegian struck 41 winners and committed 28 unforced errors as he pulled his 23-year-old opponent around to improve to 3-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.

Ruusuvuori was competing in the second round in Paris for the first time, having edged Frenchman Ugo Humbert in five sets. He lost in the first round in 2020 and 2021.

In other early action, #NextGenATP Holger Rune built on his standout win over 14th seed Denis Shapovalov by dispatching Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 51 minutes.

The Dane, currently third in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan, is making his debut in Paris. The 19-year-old has enjoyed a strong season, clinching his maiden ATP Tour title in Munich before he reached the semi-finals in Lyon last week.

<a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/players/holger-rune/r0dg/overview'>Holger Rune</a>
Photo Credit: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images

Rune, who won 86 per cent (42/49) of his first-serve points against Laaksonen, now holds a 12-3 record on the season on the European clay. He will play Frenchman Hugo Gaston or Argentine lucky loser Pedro Cachin in the third round.

Rune has already jumped nine places this week to No. 31 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings as he continues his quest to crack the Top 30 for the first time.

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Day 5 Preview: Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Rublev Seek Third Round

  • Posted: May 26, 2022

Day 5 Preview: Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Rublev Seek Third Round

Sinner, Rune can make it four #NextGenATP stars in last 32

The bottom half of the men’s singles draw takes the stage on Thursday for the completion of the second round, led by No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev and No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas. Seventh seed Andrey Rublev is also in action, as well as #NextGenATP stars Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune.

Doubles action from the first and second rounds will also dot the grounds, with second seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic playing for a place in the last 16.

[2] Daniil Medvedev vs. Laslo Djere (SER)

Laslo Djere won the only previous meeting between the pair, but the victory came via a second-set retirement five years ago in 2017 on the clay of Budapest. The Serbian would reach the Roland Garros third round for the third time if he can pull off the upset on Court Philippe Chatrier; he has not been beyond the second round at any other Grand Slam.

Medvedev picked up his first clay win of the season by beating Facundo Bagnis, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, in the opening round. He returned from a groin injury in time to play Geneva last week, but lost to Richard Gasquet in his opening match.

Far from a clay specialist, the World No. 2 was happy with his win over the Argentine on Tuesday as he seeks to match his quarter-final run from last year in Paris.

“On clay I have to focus even more on myself than on the opponent,” he said after downing Bagnis. “Just have to… don’t do mistakes. Put the ball in the court. Today I managed to do this well. Feeling good physically, mentally. Ready for next round, which is not going to be easy.

“This year I like my level so far. Of course, then again, it’s Grand Slam, can have tougher opponents, can lose second, third round, and you are not going to be happy.”

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[4] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. Zdenek Kolar (CZE)

Tsitsipas, like Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman did in the second round Wednesday, battled back from two sets down to beat Lorenzo Musetti in his opening match. The Greek dropped 10 of 11 games during a brutal stretch over the course of the first two sets, but found his serve and regrouped to win the final three sets in relatively straightforward fashion.

“I have to really work to get things in life,” he said of the match. “Things don’t come easy. I refuse to give up. That’s simply how it works with me. You never really think about getting back after being two sets to love. You just play it point after point. You just wish that your efforts will pay off on a longer scale, longer run.

“Being in that situation, it’s a mountain that you have to climb, and I was able to climb it and regain the momentum steadily but consistently.”

By coming back from the brink, Tsitsipas maintained his status as the favourite in the bottom half of the draw as he seeks a repeat of his final run from last year. He also reached the Roland Garros semi-finals in 2021, losing to Novak Djokovic in each of the past two years.

Zdenek Kolar enters this Court Suzanne Lenglen showdown on the heels of what is likely the biggest win of his career, certainly by stage if not by the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Making his Grand Slam debut, he earned his first tour-level win, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, over French wild card and World No. 162 Lucas Pouille. The 25-year-old Kolar qualified for this year’s main draw after losing in qualifiers each of the past four years.

[7] Andrey Rublev vs. Federico Delbonis (ARG)

Rublev won the first ATP Head2Head meeting between this pair, which also came at a Grand Slam: Wimbledon 2021, where Delbonis took the opening set but fell in four first-round sets.

Rublev had a similar result against Soonwoo Kwon on Thursday, working his way into the match after dropping the first set of his Roland Garros campaign. He advanced with a 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory.

“I didn’t really have confidence, [it] was [the] first match since I lost also first round in Rome,” the seventh seed said of that match. “So I was a bit tight. But little by little, I tried to find a way to play better and better… From the beginning till the end, I finished much better than I started.”

Delbonis will take to Court Simonne Mathieu full of confidence after a 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-2 first-round win over France’s Adrian Mannarino. But the 31-year-old has not managed consecutive victories since he reached the Buenos Aires semi-finals in February.

Best Of The Rest

After Carlos Alcaraz and Brandon Nakashima advanced to the third round on Thursday, Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune can make it four #NextGenATP stars in the last 32. Sinner, seeded 11th, takes on Roberto Carballes Baena as he seeks to match his best run to the 2020 Roland Garros quarters. The unseeded Rune faces Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen after a straight-sets upset of 14th seed Denis Shapovalov in what was the Dane’s first match at the clay-court major.

#NextGenATP Player  Previous Match Best RG Result
Carlos Alcaraz, 19 (ESP) d. Ramos-Vinloas (R2) Third Round (2021, 2022)
Brandon Nakashima, 20 (USA) d. Griekspoor (R2) Third Round (2022)
Jannik Sinner, 20 (ITA) d. Fratangelo (R1) Quarter-finals (2020)
Holger Rune, 19 (DEN) d. Shapovaolv (R1) Second Round (2022)

On Chatrier, Gilles Simon will play for his 500th win and to further extend his farewell Roland Garros after a five-set upset of 16th seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Tuesday. Another Frenchman, Hugo Gaston, will take to Lenglen to face Pedro Cachin after his own five-set upset against 19th seed Alex de Minaur. 

In doubles action, Mektic and Pavic carry a 10-match win streak into the second round. The Croatians followed up their Rome and Geneva titles with a straight-sets win over Andre Goransson and Ben McLachlan on Tuesday. They’ll face Robin Haase and Raven Klaasen on Court 2.

Sixth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, winners of four tour-level titles since they joined forces for the first time in January, are also in action against Ramkumar Ramanathan and Hunter Reese.

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