Medvedev overcomes clay courtroom demons at Roland-Garros, Williams survives scare

Paris, June 3

The highlights of the fourth day at the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the year:

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev overcame his past struggles on clay to reach the third round of Roland-Garros, and 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams advanced after a second-set scare, as a debate over the complicated relationship between athletes and the media spilled over into another day of competition.

Players’ media mandate was yet again under scrutiny as competitors voiced their support for Naomi Osaka but stopped short of publicly backing her press boycott. A reporter briefly lost his press credentials for stating he had logged on to a press conference with German Alexander Zverev from a supermarket.

Medvedev, who had a 0-4 record at Roland-Garros before this latest attempt, kept his bid alive with relative ease to set up a fourth-round clash with American Reilly Opelka, as Williams, who is gunning for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, fired off five aces to down Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori managed to scrape through with a brutal, four-hour, five-set win over Russia’s Karen Khachanov, while Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas made light work of Spain’s Pedro Martinez in a straight-sets victory.

On the women’s side, two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka, 31, showed off her vast experience to take down Danish teenager Clara Tauson in straight sets, while third-seed Aryna Sabalenka defeated her fellow Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich despite a bevy of unforced errors.

2128 DANIIL MEDVEDEV RECOVERS TO DEFEAT PAUL World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev overcame a slow start to win 3-6 6-1 6-4 6-3 over unseeded American Tommy Paul and advance to the third round, his best showing at Roland-Garros after being knocked out in the first round of the tournament in the four previous years.

1813 SERENA WILLIAMS OVERCOMES BUZARNESCU Seventh seed Serena Williams was pushed the distance but beat Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 5-7 6-1 to move into the third round where the 39-year-old goes up against fellow American Danielle Collins.


Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Spain’s Pedro Martinez 6-3 6-4 6-3 to move into the third round.

Tsitsipas fired eight aces and 45 winners, converting eight of 18 break points.

1630 NISHIKORI WINS FIVE-SET EPIC AGAINST KHACHANOV Japan’s Kei Nishikori battled for four hours on Court Philippe-Chatrier before finally overcoming Russian 23rd seed Karen Khachanov 4-6 6-2 2-6 6-4 6-4. The Japanese will face Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen in round three.

“Trust me, I hate playing five sets. I don’t do it on purpose,” Nishikori said after a second straight five-setter which took his time on court at Roland Garros to just over eight hours.


French Open order of play on Thursday

Press gang: Osaka withdrawal puts spotlight on media mandate Tsitsipas strolls into third round with win over Martinez Nishikori scripts second five-set win to reach third round Venus and Gauff bow out in first round of French Open doubles Azarenka sees off teenager Tauson to move into French Open third round Zverev books third round spot with straight-sets win Judy Murray backs Osaka, points to “extremely high” media demands Reporter’s French Open credentials revoked for asking question from the supermarket Serena resumes hunt for 24th slam title on French Open Day 4 Osaka withdraws from French Open in wake of row over media boycott Golfer Wie West praises ‘incredibly brave’ Osaka Osaka should be applauded for prioritising mental health – Stephens Djokovic sympathises with Osaka but says media is important Cancer beaten, Suarez Navarro falls just short of winning return Nadal, Djokovic ease through as Roland Garros continues without Osaka French Open order of play on Wednesday

1535 AZARENKA DOWNS TAUSON IN STRAIGHT SETS Victoria Azarenka, seeded 15th, came through in straight sets against Denmark’s Clara Tauson. The Belarusian converted five of her 13 break-point opportunities to secure her place in the third round.

1450 FOGNINI FLATTENS FUCSOVICS, ISNER THROUGH Italy’s Fabio Fognini, the 27th seed, edged a first-set tiebreak before seeing off Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 7-6(8) 6-1 6-2.

American John Isner also reached the third round in straight sets, riding his booming serve to a 7-6(6) 6-1 7-6(5) victory over Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic, dishing out 23 aces.

1425 GAUFF/VENUS PAIRING BOW OUT OF DOUBLES A combination of youth and experience did not quite click in the women’s doubles, with youngster Coco Gauff and her partner, 40-year-old Venus Williams, beaten 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 by Ellen Perez and Zheng Saisai in the first round.

1315 SEEDED BAUTISTA AGUT LOSES TO LAAKSONEN Spanish 11th seed Roberto Bautista Agut was beaten 6-3 2-6 6-3 6-2 by unseeded Henri Laaksonen. The Swiss served well and won 10 points at the net, while also sending down 53 winners compared to Bautista Agut’s 17.


Argentina’s Federico Delbonis beat Spaniard Pablo Andujar 4-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-2 in three hours and 23 minutes, hitting 54 winners, including 14 aces, on Court 13.

Andujar stunned fourth seed Dominic Thiem in the first round, recovering from two sets down to beat the Austrian 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4, but ran out of steam in his second five-setter at Roland Garros.


Danish 15th seed Casper Ruud sent down 39 winners and won 81% of his first-serve points en route to defeating Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak 6-3 6-2 6-4 on Court 7.

1135 ZVEREV BEATS SAFIULLIN IN STRAIGHT SETS Sixth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany negotiated two tiebreaks to beat Russian Roman Safiullin 7-6(4) 6-3 7-6(1). Zverev sent down 41 winners, including 15 aces, while also winning 80% of his first-serve points.


Marketa Vondrousova, the 20th seed, ended local wild card Harmony Tan’s run with a crushing 6-1 6-3 victory. The Czech cruised past Tan without dropping serve, winning 80% of her first-serve points.


Defending singles champion Iga Swiatek and partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands dished out a bagel as they raced through their first-round doubles match, beating French duo Aubane Droguet and Selena Janicijevic 6-0 6-1.

1025 BENCIC AND BRENGLE CRASH OUT IN STRAIGHT SETS Swiss Belinda Bencic was knocked out after a 6-2 6-2 defeat by Russian Daria Kasatkina, who fired eight aces and 27 winners past the 10th seed to move into the third round for the first time since 2018.

American Madison Brengle lost 6-4 6-1 to Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia, who converted five of six break points in a contest that lasted 65 minutes.


Play began in sunny conditions at Roland Garros, with the temperature hovering around 23 degrees Celsius. Reuters

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