Kei, Grigor, Sascha Survive Wild Wednesday
Three of the ATP World Tour’s biggest stars needed to dig deep Wednesday to reach the third round of Roland Garros.
Second seed Alexander Zverev, who has won three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles but never reached a Grand Slam quarter-final, looked to be headed for more heartbreak at the majors when he trailed Serbian Dusan Lajovic two sets to one. But the leader of the ATP Race To London powered home, winning 12 of the last 15 games of the match to win 2-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. It was his 18th win from his past 20 matches. Read Report
“In the fourth and fifth sets, I really felt good out there even though I was a little bit tired and a little bit fatigued,” said Zverev, who next faces Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur.
Reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov also rallied from two sets to one down to win a drama-filled four-hour, 20-minute marathon with 21-year-old American Jared Donaldson 6-7(2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 10-8. Dimitrov’s fitness was a telling factor in the victory and on match point he kissed his legs for underpinning his victory. “I could have played another two hours,” he told Tennis Channel. Later, he said: “It's great to win a match in five sets. I think it stays with you, you keep it, and especially on clay and out here.” Read Report
Although Kei Nishikori won the first set in his second-round battle with enigmatic Frenchman Benoit Paire, the former US Open finalist also needed to rally from two sets to one down to advance to the third round. The Japanese won 6-3, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Read Report
Ranked No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Performance Zone for his all-time leading deciding set win percentage (75.9), Nishikori battled past the Frenchman in just under three hours on Court Philippe-Chatrier. With his second win over French opposition in as many rounds, the World No. 21 improves to 5-2 against home players at the clay-court Grand Slam championship. Nishikori defeated wild card Maxime Janvier in three sets in his opening match.
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Another top-ranked player, Dominic Thiem, could also be headed for a second-round five-setter. Pitting his single-handed backhand against that of young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, Thiem pulled ahead two sets to one - 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 - as darkness suspended play Wednesday night.