French Open 2017, Day 6 highlights: From Rafael Nadal hitting 100 to Horacio Zeballos' kind act

Paris: Novak Djokovic needed five sets to progress to the fouth round, while a ruthless Rafael Nadal dropped just one game in his third round against Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili. Here's a look at some of the off-court stories that are making headlines at Roland Garros.

Hands of our ball boys

Djokovic was criticised for his on-court demeanour in his match with Diego Schwartzman, including his attitude to ball boys who were told to feed the ball and towel to him a lot faster than they were. "A lot of things I am fine with when players lose their shit on court -- those in glasshouses etc but when players yell @ ballkids," tweeted former tour player Rennae Stubbs.

100 up for Rafa

Rafael Nadal smiles after defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili during their third round match. AP

Rafael Nadal smiles after defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili during their third round match. AP

Nine-time champion Nadal played his 100th best-of-five sets match on clay on Friday against Basilashvili. His 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 romp took his record to 98 wins and just two defeats. The two defeats have come at the hands of Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and against Djokovic in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros two years ago.

Two is a lucky number

Tunisia's Ons Jabeur was only the second lucky loser in the last 20 years to reach the third round of a Slam joining Russia's Daria Kasatkina who made the last 32 at the 2015 US Open. Jabeur's historic run ended as she lost 6-2, 6-2 to Swiss 30th seed Timea Bacsinszky, a 2015 semi-finalist.

Jabeur, who had never won a match at the majors before her visit to Paris, had now bettered the previous best by an Arab woman at the Slams.

That mark was set by compatriot Selima Sfar who made the second round at Roland Garros twice, three times at Wimbledon and once at the US Open.

Jabeur was the French Open girls' champion in 2011.

Bags a lot, Horacio

Argentina's Horacio Zeballos made the last 16 when David Goffin retired with an ankle injury. But the 33-year-old Argentine did his bit to help by carrying the Belgian's bags off court.

Frightening lightning Shelby Rogers, who lost to home hope Kiki Mladenovic despite being 5-2 ahead in the final set, refused to blame a stoppage in play for extreme weather for her loss. "Neither one of us wanted to play in lightning. That's not very smart," said the American. Mladenovic won six of the last seven games to move to the fourth round with a 7-5, 4-6, 8-6 win. This victory was another improbable comeback by the Frenchwoman to reach the second week of the Grand Slam at home for the first time.

Quotes of the day:

"I do this on my own time and my own dime."

-- Andre Agassi revealing he is not paid to coach Novak Djokovic.

"What did I say? What did I say? You understand Serbian?"

-- Djokovic after being warned by umpire Carlos Ramos for unsportsmanlike behaviour in his five-set win over Diego Schwartzman

"He's my singing partner so I need to support that."

-- Grigor Dimitrov on the return of Roger Federer in Stuttgart later this month. At Indian Wells this year, Federer, Dimitrov and Tommy Haas, dubbing themselves the Backhand Boys, performed "Hard To Say I’m Sorry" during an on-court interview.

"Maths was the only subject that I failed in the last year at school. That doesn't mean that the numbers don't worry me now."

-- Nadal on his 100th best-of-five claycourt match

"I think it's sort of really shocking comments to hear. I won't get necessarily into the politics on what something should and shouldn't be called, but I think to some extent definitely there should be some kind of apology and whatever repercussions."

-- Milos Raonic weighs in on the Margaret Court controversy

"I know in Wimbledon I will go to the same house. I know the kitchen, and I know that the owner, the woman loves to bake, so I have everything I need for muffin, cakes, and stuff."

-- Garbine Muguruza on how baking helps her forget the stress of tennis.

Stats of the day:

12 -- points on serve lost by Nadal in his 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 mauling of Basilashvili.

16 -- points in a row won by defending champion Garbine Muguruza in her match against Yulia Putintseva.

63 -- unforced errors from Svetlana Kuznetsova in her marathon three-set win over China's Zhang Shuai

With inputs from AFP


Published Date: Jun 03, 2017 04:56 pm | Updated Date: Jun 03, 2017 04:56 pm


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