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Roland-Garros Day 4 men’s recap: Tsitsipas, Zverev win in straight sets, Nishikori survives in five
Your guide to the biggest stories from the men’s side at 2021 Roland-Garros as the first round continues in Paris on Wednesday 2nd June
- Notable names winning on Wednesday at Roland-Garros (2nd round): Daniil Medvedev (2), Stefanos Tsitsipas (5), Alexander Zverev (6), Pablo Carreno Busta (12), Casper Ruud (15), Cristian Garin (22), Fabio Fognini (27), John Isner (31), Reilly Opelka (32) Kei Nishikori
- Notable names losing on Wednesday (2nd round): Roberto Bautista Agut (11), Karen Khachanov (23)
- To read about Tuesday’s men’s coverage including wins by Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils, and the shock exit of Andrey Rublev, you can click here
- To follow our full coverage of the 2021 French Open, please visit this page.
- To follow live results, to see the men’s draw and women’s draw, we recommend you follow the official Roland Garros website
- You can also check out the Tennis Majors team’s breakdown of the men’s and women’s draw
- Tomorrow’s programme at Roland-Garros will be updated here (and by the way, today’s schedule is here).
- All the practical information – how to watch the tournament, how to buy tickets and everything else you could possibly need to know – are hopefully in this page.
TSITSIPAS SPRINTS INTO LAST 32
Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Pedro Martinez 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 28 minutes. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist could have served better — he faced 15 break points and was broken four times — but he made up for it by breaking Martinez on eight occasions out of 18 chances.
“It was a good match, and both of us we fought hard,” Tsitsipas commented. “It was a very tough match despite it finishing in three sets.
“It feels good to be back at the French Open, at Roland-Garros. I like playing here. You know, it brings back memories from when I was little — watching the tournament. It’s great to be part of it. I find the clay here one of the best clay courts in the world maybe and one of the best clay courts I have played at. It’s one of the most prestigious events of our sport. I’m really happy to be part of it.”
The Greek will go up against John Isner in the round of 32.
ZVEREV WINS IN STRAIGHT SETS
6th seed Alexander Zverev was among the early winners on Wednesday on the men’s side at Roland-Garros. The German defeated qualifier Roman Safiullin 7-6, 6-3, 7-6 to move into the last 32. He came back from a break down in both the second and third sets to win – and was rueful about it in his press conference afterwards.
“Obviously I don’t do it on purpose!” he said. “I don’t go into the match and say, ‘Okay, my tactic is I’m going to be a break down, I’m going to fight back and come back.’ That’s not how it works. I’m a break down most of the time because I played unfocused games or the opponent played well.
“…Especially last two sets, they could have gone both ways, especially the third. The second I thought I was in control more.
“But, yeah, again, I think I’m happy to be through in three sets. I’m happy not to have played another five-setter. I think it’s going to be important for me during the course of this tournament. I’m looking forward to the next match.”
Zverev will next play Laslo Djere. Zverev reached the fourth round in Paris last year, and the quarter-finals in 2018 and 2019. The German has reached one Grand Slam final – the US Open in 2020 – and is still searching for his first career Grand Slam singles title.
FIFTH-SET MASTER NISHIKORI STRIKES AGAIN
Death, taxes, and Kei Nishikori winning fifth sets…. Those are basically the three certainties of life.
Nishikori won his second consecutive five-setter of this fortnight and improved to 10-1 in his last 11 five-set matches when he outlasted No 23 Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. The Japanese veteran prevailed in three hours and 59 minutes.
He previously defeated Alessandro Giannessi 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
“Everybody (is) telling me I have good records (in fifth sets),” Nishikori noted. “Sometimes I have to think that I have to keep building my record after going five sets. That’s (a) little bit giving me pleasure, too. I think fifth set I’m really playing good tennis, more than any sets. Even though I’m tired, I think I’m playing better and more free, more aggressive, not being passive. Yeah, I think I do many good things especially in the last set.”
MEDVEDEV MARCHES ON
No 2 Daniil Medvedev picked up the second match win of his French Open career when he beat Tommy Paul 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 in the night match on Court Philipp-Chatrier. Medvedev had never advanced at Roland-Garros prior to this year (previously 0-4 lifetime).
Big-serving Reilly Opelka is next for the Russian.
BAUTISTA AGUT BEATEN
Henri Laaksonen, No 150 on the ATP Tour, beat No 11 seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. Laaksonen becomes the first qualifier to beat the Spaniard at a Grand Slam.
“Today was just amazing match for me,” the Swiss said. “I was playing really aggressive and, yeah, it paid off. I have had a tough season so far. I played last week in Geneva a little bit better, and here I had some tough matches in qualies. Yeah, I got through them. I have been improving my game now every match.”
It was a reasonably comfortable win for 27th seed Fabio Fognini, who beat Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 7-6(6), 6-1, 6-2. A rowdy crowd on Court 14 powered Fognini through a thrilling first set before the Italian took complete control in the second and third.
ISNER INTO THIRD ROUND
6’10” American John Isner, seeded 31st, beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6(6), 6-1, 7-6(5) — hitting 23 aces along the way.
Isner could have his hands full with Tsitsipas, who has won each of their last three matches in straight sets.
GARIN WINS WILD ONE AGAINST McDONALD
No 22 seed Cristian Garin was one point away — twice — from losing in straight sets, but he battled all the way back to overcome Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-3, 8-6 after four hours and 15 minutes.
Garin saved two match points in the third-set tiebreaker — one on McDonald’s serve — and then fought off all five of the break points he faced in the fifth. The Chilean survived a tough service game at 6-6 in the decider before capitalizing on his second match point when McDonald sent a forehand past the baseline at 6-7, 30-40.
Next up for Garin is either Daniil Medvedev or Tommy Paul.
- Casper Ruud, seeded 15th, got past Kamil Majchrzak 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
- Laslo Djere beat Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
- Argentina’s Federico Delbonis defeated Pablo Andujar 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
- Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina held off Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 6-4.
- No 32 seed Reilly Opelka overpowered Jaume Munar 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
- Marcos Giron joined the American party in round three with a 7-6(2), 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4 victory over Guido Pella
- No 12 Pablo Carreno Busta ended the run of WC Enzo Couacaud 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, leaving no French men in the bottom half of the draw
- Steve Johnson outlasted Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3