2019 French Open: Review Of Second Round Matches

All four former champions have been joined by three young pretenders to the throne as there were no major upsets in the second round at Roland Garros for the second grand slam title of the year. The 2016 champion Novak Djokovic, the Eleven time champion Rafael Nadal (2005-08, 2010-14, 2017-18), the 2009 champion Roger Federer and the 2015 Champion Stanislas Wawrinka all advanced in straight sets as did Alexander Zverev, but Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas needed four sets to progress into the round of 32.

The defending champion Nadal dropped Lenglen as he beat the German qualifier Yannick Maden 6-2,6-1,6-4. His archrival Roger Federer was clinical in his win over the German lucky loser Oscar Otte as he won 6-4,6-3,6-4 on court Philippe Chatrier breaking serve once in all the three sets.

Federer who was on course to play Norway’s Christian Ruud in 2001 at the French Open, next plays his son Casper Ruud who upset the local favourite Matteo Berrettini, seeded 29th, 6-4,7-5,6-3. Next up for Nadal is the Belgian David Goffin, a 6-2,6-4,6-3 winner over Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.

The world number One Novak Djokovic, bidding for a second non-calendar slam and to become the only player in the Open Era to win all four grand slams atleast twice, dispatched the little known Swiss Henri Laaksonen 6-1,6-4,6-3. Up next is the Italian Salvatore Caruso who upset the 26th seeded Giles Simon 6-1,6-2,6-4.

The 24th seeded Stanislas Wawrinka had a surprisingly easy 6-1,6-4,6-0 win over Christian Garin of Chile. Fifth seeded Alexander Zverev, last week’s winner in Geneva won 6-1,6-3,7-6(3) over the unheralded Swede Michael Ymer. In one of the more entertaining match of the day, Kei Nishikori came from a set down to beat the Frenchman Jo Wilfred Tsonga 4-6,6-4,6-4,6-4.

In an all French match up, Pierre Hugues-Herbert, who had rallied from two sets down to beat the Russian Daniil Medvedev almost repeated the feat before finally succumbing to Benoit Paire in five sets. The Lyon champion last Saturday, won 6-2,6-2,5-7,6-7(6),11-9. Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria also took five sets to upset Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-7(3),6-4,4-6,7-6(2),6-3 on court Simone Mathieu.

Fillip Krajinovic of Serbia was another five set winner as he beat the Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4,6-4,6-7(1),3-6,8-6. The Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame the Bolivian Hugo Dellien 4-6,6-0,6-3,7-5.

Other winners on Wednesday were the Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta who upset the 21st seeded Australian Alex De Minaur 6-3,6-1,6-1. Frenchman Nicholas Mahut beat the German veteran Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3,6-3,6-3. In an all Argentine matchup Leonardo Mayer prevailed over the seventeenth seeded Diego Schwartzman 4-6,6-3,6-4,7-5 in a match which was suspended at 4-4 in the fourth set on Wednesday.

There were mixed results for two more Argentinean players, Juan Ignacio Londero beat the stylish Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-2,3-6,6-3,6-4. The Frenchman Corentin Moutet upset the 19th seeded Guido Pella 6-3,6-1,2-6,7-5. The Serb Laslo Djere, seeded 31st beat the Australian Alexei Popyrin 6-4,7-6(4),6-4.

In the first match of the day on Thursday on court Philippe Chatrier, the fourth seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria took four sets to beat the little known Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-3,6-7(6),6-3,7-5. There were two French winners on Thursday, Gael Monfils won an all French affair against Adrian Mannarino 6-3,6-4,6-4, while little known Antoine Hoang upset the 23rd seeded Spanish left hander Fernando Verdasco 6-4,3-6,7-6(5),7-5.

There was disappointment for another Frenchman Elliot Benchetrit as he lost to the 30th seeded Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 3-6,3-6,4-6. The 28th seeded Briton Kyle Edmund who had required five sets to beat Jeremy Chardy retired in his match against the Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas. The Argentina born Cuevas was leading 7-6(3),6-3,2-1.

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut was in excellent form as he dispatched the American Taylor Fritz 6-2,6-3,6-2. There was good news finally for Australia as Jordan Thompson beat the 40 year old Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-3,6-4,6-7(2),6-3. The 13th seeded Borna Coric also of Croatia beat the South African Lloyd Harris 6-2,6-3,7-6(2). The German Jan-Lennard Struff took four sets to beat the Moldovian Radu Albot 7-6(2),7-6(3),6-7(4),6-2.

In the evening matches, the eighth seeded Juan Martin Del Potro who reached the last four in 2018 needed five sets to beat Yoshihito Nishioka, 5-7,6-4,6-2,6-7(5),6-2. The ninth seeded Italian Fabio Fognini was a 6-4,3-6,6-3,6-3 winner against the left handed Frederico Delbonis of Argentina.

Karen Khachanov of Russia was bageled in the third set after winning the first two but came through to beat the Frenchman Gregoire Barrere 6-3,7-6(8),0-6,7-5. The last match on court Philippe Chatrier was suspended due to failing light with the Slovak Martin Klizan leading the 22nd seeded Lucas Pouille of France 7-6(4),2-6,6-3,3-1.

The following is the line up for the third round with my pick mentioned first :-

Roger Federer (3) v. Casper Ruud (-)
Pablo Carreno Busta (-) v. Benoit Paire (-)
Kei Nishikori (7) v. Laslo Djere (31)
Juan Ignacio Londero (-) v. Corentin Moutet (-)
Rafael Nadal (2) v. David Goffin (27)
Leonardo Mayer (-) v. Nicholas Mahut (-)
Stanislas Wawrinka (24) v. Grigor Dimitrov (-)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (6) v. Fillip Krajinovic (-)
Dominic Thiem (4) v. Pablo Cuevas (-)
Alexander Zverev (5) v. Dusan Lajovic (30)
Gael Monfils (14) v. Antoine Hoang (-)
Fabio Fognini (9) v. Roberto Bautista Agut (18)
Novak Djokovic (1) v. Salvatore Caruso (-)
Borna Coric (13) v. Jan Lennard Struff (-)
Juan Martin Del Potro (8) v. Jordan Thompson (-)
Fabio Fognini (9) v. Lucas Pouille (22) or Martin Klizan (-)

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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