After the early exits of Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas on Tuesday, normal service has been restored as all the remaining top eight seeds have advanced to the round of 32. While Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer completed their matches under the roof on Wednesday when rain severely curtailed play on the outside courts, Rafael Nadal got a free passage into the third round as his Australian opponent Thanasi Kokkinakis conceded a walkover owing to injury. The GenNext stars Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev also advanced as did the 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori of Japan.
The defending champion Novak Djokovic survived an injury scare and required court side treatment, but sailed past his second round opponent Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4,7-6(3),6-1. He next takes on the American Denis Kudla who defeated Djokovic’s compatriot Dusan Lajovic 7-5,7-5,0-6,6-3. Once again Roger Federer overcame a slow start and dropped the first set before rallying to beat Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia Herzegovina 3-6,6-2,6-3,6-4. Up next for the five time champion is the Briton Daniel Evans who caused a minor upset as he beat the 25th seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-4,6-3,6-7(4),6-4.
Three time Champion Rafael Nadal will play the Korean Hyeon Chung in the third round after getting the walkover from Kokkinakis. Chung who came through the qualifiers came from behind to upset the 32nd seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 1-6,2-6,7-5,6-3,7-6(4). The 2014 champion Marin Cilic of Croatia beat the German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 4-6,6-3,7-5,6-3. Cilic, seeded 22nd, next plays the American John Isner who beat another German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3,7-6(4),7-6(5).
There was a German winner as little known Dominik Koepfer beat the giant American Reilly Opelka in straight sets 6-4,6-4,7-6(2). The seventeen seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili beat the American qualifier Jenson Brooksby 3-6,7-6(3),7-5,6-2. The 2016 champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland beat the Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4,6-3,6-7(3),6-3 and now takes on the Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi who beat Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6(11),6-7(2),7-6(2),3-6,6-3.
The red hot Russian Daniil Medvedev, seeded fifth, dropped the third set as he beat the Bolivian Hugo Dellien 6-3,7-5,5-7,6-3. He faces the Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-7(9),6-0,6-4,6-4. The Cincinnati finalist David Goffin routed the Frenchman Gregoire Barrere 6-2,6-2,6-2 to set up a meeting with another Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta who beat the Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-4,6-7(3),6-2,6-0.
Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria also received a walkover from the 12th seeded Borna Coric of Croatia and now faces the qualifier from Poland Kamil Majchrzak who needed five sets to beat the Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-7(3),6-4,2-6,6-4,6-1. Alex de Minaur upset the 31st seeded Cristian Garin 6-3,7-5,6-3 and takes on the seventh seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan who needed four sets to beat the American Bradley Klahn 6-2,4-6,6-3,7-5.
Nick Kyrgios and Andrey Rublev set up a mouth watering third round match up after both advanced on Thursday. Rublev who upset Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets was leading 6-2 when Giles Simon retired, while the 28th seeded Australian Kyrgios beat Antoine Hoang 6-4,6-2,6-4. The 24th seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini beat the Australian Jordan Thompson 7-5,7-6(5),4-6,6-1 and faces another Australian Alexei Popyrin who beat Mikhail Kukushkhin of Kazakhstan 2-6,7-5,6-3,6-2.
There was better news for France as the 13th seeded Gael Monfils beat the Romanian Marius Copil 6-3,6-2,6-2. Next up is the Canadian Denis Shapovalov who swept past the Swiss Henri Laaksonen 6-4,7-6(2),6-2. The Spaniard Pablo Andujar beat the Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-2,6-4,6-2. Alexander Bublik beat the Italian Thomas Fabbiano, the conqueror of Thiem, 6-7(3),5-7,6-4,6-3,6-3.
The sixth seeded German Alexander Zverev again needed five sets to beat the American Frances Tiafoe 6-3,3-6,6-2,2-6,6-3 and now faces Josef Kovalik of Slovak Republic who also needed five sets in his upset of the 29th seeded Frenchman Aljaz Bedene 4-6,6-7(3),6-2,7-5,7-6(4). The 20th seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman beat the qualifier from Belarus Egor Gerasimov 6-4,6-2,6-0. Up next for Schwartzman is the American Tennys Sandgren who needed four sets to beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-3,6-7(4),6-3,6-4.
The following is the line up for the round of 32 with my pick mentioned first :-
Novak Djokovic (1) v. Denis Kudla (-)
Stanislas Wawrinka (23) v. Paolo Lorenzi (-)
Nikoloz Basilashvili (17) v. Dominik Koepfer (-)
Daniil Medvedev (5) v. Feliciano Lopez (-)
Roger Federer (3) v. Daniel Evans (-)
David Goffin (15) v. Pablo Carreno Busta (-)
Grigor Dimitrov (-) v. Kamil Majchrzak (-)
Kei Nishikori (7) v. Alex de Minaur (-)
Nick Kyrgios (28) v. Andrey Rublev (-)
Matteo Berrettini (24) v. Alexei Popyrin (-)
Gael Monfils (13) v. Denis Shapovalov (-)
Pablo Andujar (-) v. Alexander Bublik (-)
Alexander Zverev (6) v. Aljaz Bedene (-)
Diego Schwartzman (20) v. Tennys Sandgren (-)
John Isner (14) v. Marin Cilic (22)
Rafael Nadal (2) v. Hyeon Chung (-)
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@]