Easy for Djokovic; Ostapenko stuns Pliskova

By   |  Published: 2nd Oct 2020  12:23 am
Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts as he plays against Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis during their men's singles second round tennis match at the Philippe Chatrier court on Day 5 of The Roland Garros 2020 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on October 1, 2020. Photo: AFP

Paris: Once Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin got going, she kept going — right into the third round of the French Open.

The fourth-seeded American started slowly Thursday under a closed roof on Court Philippe Chatrier before pulling out a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Ana Bogdan. She also nearly stumbled at the end, too. Kenin held three match points with Bogdan serving at 5-1 but failed to convert them all. In the next game, Kenin had to save three break points before finally winning on her fourth match point.

It was far easier for top-ranked Novak Djokovic when he followed Kenin on Chatrier. With the roof open and sunshine bathing the tournament’s biggest stadium after days of miserable weather, Djokovic routed Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. The unexpected sunshine seemed to bother him a little, so Djokovic’s team gave him a hat he could wear while sitting on the side of the court. Djokovic is going for a second title at Roland Garros after winning in 2016, and for an 18th Grand Slam overall to move two behind Roger Federer’s men’s record.

Djokovic has dropped only 10 games so far and next faces lucky loser Daniel Elahi Galan. While Djokovic has won 81 career titles, the 153rd-ranked Colombian has never won one and this will be his first appearance in the third round of any major tournament. Same goes for Roberto Carballes Baena. He advanced by beating ninth-seeded Denis Shapovalov 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 8-6 in a match lasting five hours. Shapovalov committed 106 unforced errors in the match, compared to 42 for Carballes Baena, and twice served for the match.

Earlier, former champion Jelena Ostapenko advanced to the third round when she beat second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2. Even though there were late-morning blue skies for their match, the roof stayed closed over the main court. Ostapenko won her only major title in 2017 at Roland Garros. The unseeded Latvian will next face either 29th-seeded Sloane Stephens or Paula Badosa.

Pliskova’s twin sister, Kristyna, was also playing a former French Open champion. She was facing 2016 winner Garbiñe Muguruza. In other women’s matches, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 6-3. The seventh-seeded Kvitova reached the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2012. Also, No. 8 Aryna Sabalenka beat Daria Kasatkina 7-6 (6), 6-0, but Danish teen Clara Tauson’s surprise Roland Garros run ended when she lost to unseeded American Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-3.

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