They’ve been kept waiting longer in the locker room than they would have wanted, but Serena Williams and Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu are minutes away from stepping out on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
And a tasty-looking third-round to come
Nishikori wins through
With four hours on the clock, Nishikori gets the job done against Khachanov in five sets (4-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4).
What a record the Japanese has when going the distance – a 26th time he has won, losing just seven. Never in doubt!
Khachanov makes himself pay
The last thing you want when you’re in the throes of a final set is an injury of any sort. But you have a little less sympathy for Khachanov when a knock is self-inflicted. The Russian sliced some skin off the top of a couple of knuckles on his right hand from punching his strings! A good dollop of sudacrem (or the equivalent) later and he’s a new man. Still on serve in the fifth, Khachanov serving at 2-3.
We’re going five on Chatrier
Nishikori takes the fourth set against Khachanov in a match that has ebbed and flowed. Over three hours on course now for both men – and back-to-back five setters for Nishikori too. It keeps Serena Williams waiting in the locker room for a little while yet.
Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka is a set to the good against 18-year-old Clara Tauson.
CoVee dream is over
It was brief, but it was good while it lasted. Coco and Venus took the opening set against 13th seeds Zheng and Perez but fell to a 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 loss.
Anyone who thinks doubles isn’t as competitive as singles needs to watch Gauff’s reaction upon losing match point. She cracked her racket on the clay.
Danielle Collins, who spoke to tennis correspondent Simon Briggs on the eve of the tournament about her battle with endometriosis, dropped just two games in her win over Anhelina Kalinina.
The American was on court just 62 minutes, but that was still 10 minutes longer than it took 33rd seed Paula Badosa to defeat Danka Kovinić, also for the loss of two games.
Hercog keeps up charge
This is how to celebrate a victory! Polona Hercog dismisses home favourite Caroline Garcia, taking out her second big name of the week after ousting Kiki Bertens in the opening round.
Meanwhile, over on Philippe Chatrier and Khachanov is seemingly in charge against Nishikori, leading by two sets to one and a break up in the fourth.
Bautista Agut downed by qualifier
Spaniard and 11th seed Roberto Bautista Agut will be packing his bags after suffering a four-sets defeat at the hands of Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen.
It’s the first time the 29-year-old has reached a third round of a slam.
The student and teacher are a set up
Call them what you want – CocoVee and CoVee are two mash ups doing the rounds on social – have edged the first set on a tiebreak against their 13th seeded opponents Perez and Sheng.
Tokyo place on the line for Nishikori
Interesting point made below on Japan’s Nishikori who is defending his quarter-final points from the 2019 Roland Garros. A defeat today could impact on his presence at his home Olympics.
He’s just closed out the second set to draw level with Khachanov
Things you like to see
Venus Williams and Coco Gauff have teamed up in the doubles for the first time and are currently on court facing No. 13 seeds Ellen Perez and Zheng Saisai.
Gauff famously beat Venus as a 15-year-old to announce her talent to the world at Wimbledon in 2019, and then rubbed salt in the wound by beating the 40-year-old again at last year’s Australian Open.
Now 17-years-of age, holding a 2-0 record over a legend of the sport isn’t a bad look for the CV.
We’ve all been there…
Khachanov probably wanted the clay to swallow him up after this incident. But he’s found the middle of his racket plenty of other times in his second-round clash with 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori, he’s just taken the opening set 6-4.
What a turnaround!
After Sloane Stephens produced a rallying comeback against Carla Suarrez Navarro yesterday evening, Katerina Siniakova, who was down 5-1 in the third, produced an almighty recovery to save two match points and win six games in a row to oust 29th seed Veronika Kudermetova!
Siniakova is into the third round, and has never been beyond the fourth round of a major before (2019 French Open).
Reporter ‘in supermarket’ update
So, the reporter I referenced in post 12.18pm, has confirmed his credentials have been revoked, but he wasn’t at the supermarket at the time of Zverev’s press conference.
Zverev into third round
No drama for the German during the tiebreak as he rattles through to book his spot in the third round after near-on two and a half hours on court. A few tricky moments to navigate in the second and third sets, but largely he remained in control throughout.
Tiebreak time again for Zverev
Zverev recovers from a break down in the third set to draw level and take Safiullin to another decider. He still leads two sets to love.
Reporter’s credentials revoked for asking question ‘from the supermarket’
The spotlight has been well and truly on the line of questioning reporters have been taking in the post-match pressers this week, but one reporter seems to be taken their duties a little too casual.
With Covid restrictions still in place, most of the conferences have been held online and most of the accredited reporters are not on site.
One of them, however, according to Reuters, who is known for his left-field questions said he was “actually at the supermarket” when he was given his chance to speak to Zverev after the German’s first-round win earlier this week.
It is reported that the reporter has since had his credentials rightly revoked.
Breathing space for Zverev
Now two sets to the good for Zverev and serving much better than the first set. The sixth seed has been cutting out his second serve problems and looks on course at this rate to book his place in the third round.
Meanwhile, the 20th seed Marketa Vondrousova, who reached the semi-finals in Paris two years ago, is on the march against France wildcard Harmony Tan at a set and a break up.
Another seed tumbles
The 10th seed Bencic becomes the latest big name to exit the women’s draw as Kasatkina wraps up a 6-2, 6-2 win.
That leaves just THREE top 20 players left in the bottom half of the draw – third seed Sabalenka, seventh seed Williams and the 15th seeded Azarenaka.
Bencic on the ropes
Daria Kasatkina has been in brilliant form over on Court Simonne-Mathieu to disrupt 10th seed Belinda Bencic’s rhythm. After talking the opening set 6-2, Bencic is serving to stay in the tournament staring at 5-1 down in the second.
Zverev one set to the good
No service yips for the German in the breaker as Zverev wins the tiebreak with two aces to wrap up the opening set.
Suarrez Navarro: I left everything out there on court
How great it was to see Carla Suarez Navarro back in action for one last time at Roland Garros yesterday evening, in her first major since recovering from cancer.
Suarrez Navarro nearly caused an upset too against Sloane Stephens, before the American battled back to win in three.
Frustration from Zverev
The sixth seeded Zverev throws his racket to the clay after a double fault hands the break back to Safiullin and takes the first set into a tiebreaker.
‘I sympathise with Naomi Osaka’
Columnist Judy Murray writes in the Telegraph of having sympathy for Naomi Osaka and the daunting prospect of facing the media as a young woman.
I understand the argument that media duties are part of the job – as well as the fact that lesser players can’t afford a $20,000 fine for skipping press conferences. But I also think back to the Driving Force series I presented on Sky Sports, where I spoke to ten of Britain’s most successful female athletes. Almost all of those who had struggled with depression or anxiety said it was brought on by being thrown into the spotlight when they reached the top. They were totally unprepared for it, even though it is part and parcel of being a top sportsperson.
Zverev up first
It remains on serve in the first set of Zverev’s second-round clash with Safiullin on Suzanne-Lenglen with 1,000 fans all masked in the glorious sunshine in Paris.
Meanwhile, there have been some issues for Pablo Andújar, who produced the shock of the tournament so far in defeating fourth seed Dominic Thiem on Sunday, in his contest with Federico Delbonis.
Ready for day four
Morning all, welcome to our coverage on day four of Roland Garros in what has been quite an intense start to the second major of the season.
Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal has been the biggest talking point of the week so far, but yesterday saw further troubling news with Petra Kvitova’s retirement due to an unfortunate injury suffered during her post-match interview fulfilments and Ash Barty coming through a first-round contest after a medical timeout.
The developments on the women’s side means the draw is starting to open out for seventh seed Serena who resumes her bid for an elusive 24th grand slam title in Paris.
Williams takes on unseeded Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu in the second round later this afternoon.
In other action today, third seed Aryna Sabalenka will meet Aliaksandra Sasnovich in an all-Belarusian clash out on Court Suzanne Lenglen, while their compatriot, 15th seed Victoria Azarenka, faces Denmark’s Clara Tauson.
In the men’s draw, sixth seed Alexander Zverev gets the action underway on Lenglen as he takes on Russia’s Roman Safiullin, while later fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas faces Spain’s Pedro Martinez.
The evening match will feature second seed Daniil Medvedev, who looks to build on his morale-boosting first-round victory when he takes on unseeded American Tommy Paul.
Nadal remains the overwhelming favourite in the men’s draw to win a 14th Roland Garros title and notched up victory number 101 yesterday after proving too strong for Alexei Popyrin.
“The beginning of the match was very tough – he was playing bombs all the time and his serve was huge, and in these warm, fast conditions it is always difficult.
“He is young and the speed of his ball is just incredible. He’s fast running and when he hits the ball every time, he is going for the hardest power possible.
“It was a tough match and I was lucky to win the first set – I don’t know how I did it but I was super happy.”
Frenchman Richard Gasquet awaits Nadal in Thursday’s second round when the Spaniard will celebrate his 35th birthday.