French Open 2019 men's singles round-up: Alexander Zverev struggles past Dusan Lajovic in five-setter; Novak Djokovic strolls into round four

 

Novak Djokovic strolls to victory over Salvatore Caruso

Top seed Novak Djokovic barely broke a sweat as he coasted through the French Open third round 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 against Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso.

 French Open 2019 mens singles round-up: Alexander Zverev struggles past Dusan Lajovic in five-setter; Novak Djokovic strolls into round four

Novak Djokovic in action during his match against Salvatore Caruso on day seven of the 2019 French Open at Stade Roland Garros. Reuters

Djokovic has never lost a Grand Slam match to a player ranked as low as Caruso, and never showed any sign of doing so on Saturday, breezing to a two match-point advantage in little over two hours. He only needed one of those to put Caruso, ranked 147 in the world, out his misery.

The Serbian is yet to drop a set in the tournament and has rarely had such an easy run into the fourth round at Roland Garros. He will face either Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff or 13th seed Borna Coric of Croatia next.

“The conditions were very hot today, different to the days before and so tough physically. I’m feeling motivated, I’m feeling at home,” Djokovic said after the game, under a blazing sun on the Philippe Chatrier court.

Djokovic is bidding to win his 16th Grand Slam title.

Stan Wawrinka extends Grand Slam streak against Grigor Dimitrov

Stan Wawrinka improved to 4-0 against Grigor Dimitrov in Grand Slam meetings — beating him once at each major — and moved into the French Open's fourth round for the eighth time.

Wawrinka, the champion at Roland Garros in 2015 and runner-up in 2017, edged two-time major semi-finalist Dimitrov 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8) in a match suspended after two sets because of fading light a day earlier.

Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in action during his third round match against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov. Reuters

Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in action during his third round match against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov. Reuters

Dimitrov certainly had his chances to make it even tighter: He held one set point in the opener, then five in the last tiebreaker, which he led 6-2.

The 24th-seeded Wawrinka, who owns three Grand Slam titles in all, and Dimitrov are the 43rd pair of players to have met at all four majors.

Alexander Zverev struggles past Dusan Lajovic

It took Alexander Zverev all five sets again as he advanced into the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 1-6, 6-2 victory over Serbian Dusan Lajovic on Saturday.

The German fifth seed, who fought his way through a five-set thriller in the opening round, threw away a two-set lead against the 30th seed on Court Simonne Mathieu before setting up a meeting with Fabio Fognini.

It was a highly inconsistent performance by the lanky 22-year-old Zverev, who will need to sharpen his focus against the Italian ninth seed.

Fognini progressed with a 7-6(5), 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 victory against Spanish 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Zverev did not make things easy for himself as he fell 3-1 behind in the opening set before managing to turn things around and take the lead.

Germany's Alexander Zverev reacts after winning his third round match against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic. Reuters

Germany's Alexander Zverev reacts after winning his third round match against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic. Reuters

He raced through the second only to find himself on the back foot again in the third and fourth as Lajovic forced a decider with temperatures flirting with 30 degrees Celsius — a contrast with the chilly weather in the first week of the tournament.

After an early trade of breaks in the fifth, Zverev finally got his confidence back and finished it off with a whipping forehand, his 52nd winner barely making up for a woeful 55 unforced errors.

Stefanos Tsitsipas holds off determined Filip Krajinovic

Greek sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas dug deep to book his place in the French Open fourth round on Saturday, completing a 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(6) victory against Serbian Filip Krajinovic after play was suspended on Friday night.

For his second straight last-16 appearance at a Grand Slam, the 20-year-old Tsitsipas set up a potentially explosive clash with 2015 Roland Garros champion, Stan Wawrinka.

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his third round match against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic. Reuters

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his third round match against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic. Reuters

Earlier, Tsitsipas resumed his match at 5-5 in the third and looked wobbly in losing the tiebreak before finally winning in four sets thanks to his opponent’s nerves on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

A runner-up in Madrid and semi-finalist in Rome in the run-up to the claycourt Grand Slam, Tsitsipas had breezed through the first two sets and appeared on the brink of a no-nonsense win when play resumed in searing heat on Saturday.

But Krajinovic threw everything he had at Tsitsipas, which unsettled the 20-year-old.

Two straight double faults handed a break to Krajinovic in the fourth set, but the Serbian let his guard down and allowed Tsitsipas to get another crack at a tiebreak.

The Greek saved a set point as Krajinovic lost his composure, hitting long on the first match point.

Click here to read the latest updates from the women's singles round-up.

With inputs from Agencies. 

Your guide to the latest cricket World Cup stories, analysis, reports, opinions, live updates and scores on https://www.firstpost.com/firstcricket/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019.html. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates throughout the ongoing event in England and Wales.

Updated Date: Jun 01, 2019 22:21:19 IST