Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have all progressed to the last sixteen after winning their third round matches. Friday and Saturday were two hugely entertaining days at Roland Garros with superb tennis action from men and women and the locals were delighted to have five of their men in last sixteen. Federer defeated the 23-year old Damir Dzumhur in straight sets and reached the round-of-sixteen at Roland Garros for the 11th consecutive year. Dzumhur, for whom Federer is the childhood idol, is the first Bosnian man to play at a major tournament. For him, it was like a dream that lasted for an hour and 29 minutes. Andy Murray came through after an entertaining 2-hour encounter with Australian Nick Kyrgios. World no.1 Serena Williams was given a fright by Belarusian Victoria Azarenka before the big American woman reached the fourth round. Maria Sharapova also reached the round-of-sixteen for fifth consecutive year by defeating a tearful Samantha Stosur. Top men’s seed and world no.1 Novak Djokovic expectedly stopped the fine run of Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis and defending champion Rafael Nadal moved one step closer to his tenth win at Roland Garros by defeating Andrey Kuznetsov in the third round.
Artistic Roger Federer played a scintillating game against Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur. Both of Federer’s 5-year-old twin daughters missed the magical miracle that their father wove at the Philippe Chatrier Court at Roland Garros since they were busy with their own things on the center court. With a backhand as smooth as a cat’s paw and killing forehands, Federer left the Bosnian stranded at times. In just 89 minutes, Federer finished Dzumhur with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win. But after three rounds without dropping a set, it cannot be said with any degree of certainty that Federer would be able to repeat his 2009 triumph because the other Big Three; Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are still in fray. Federer’s fourth round opponent is French showman Gael Monfils, who advanced with a 4-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory against Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.
Coming to Philippe Chatrier after Federer’s match, Maria Sharapova lacked the artistry of the big Swiss but she won her third round match 6-3, 6-4 against Australian Samantha Stosur. It is the fifth consecutive time that that the Russian has reached the fourth round at the French Open. Three more women joined Sharapova in the fourth round on Friday. Alize Cornet of France accounted for Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who had defeated Simona Halep on Wednesday, Serbian Ana Ivanovic beat Croatia’s Donna Vekic and Czech Lucie Safarova defeated Sabine Lisicki of Germany.
On Saturday, top seed Serena Williams lost the first set against Belarus’s Victoria Azarenka but raised her game to enter the fourth round with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory achieved in 122 minutes. She now plays compatriot Sloane Stephens, who was outstanding in her third-round match against Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova to win at 6-4, 6-1 in 75 minutes. In other women’s singles matches of Saturday, 17th seed, Sara Errani outlasted no.10 seed Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, 6-3, 6-3 to set up a clash with another German Julia Gorges, who was ruthless in her 6-4, 6-1 victory over USA’s Irina Falconi 6-4, 6-1 and Czech Republic’s no.4 seed Petra Kvitova went through to fourth round with a victory over the 30th seed, Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu. Kvitova now takes on Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky, who beat USA’s Madison Keys, 6-4, 6-2.
Britain’s third seed Andy Murray scored this season’s another clay-court win to see off promising Australian Nick Kyrgios. In an entertaining match at Suzanne Lenglen, Murray defeated 29th seeded Kyrgios 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. The 20-year old Kyrgios produced some amazing shots, including one superb lob from between his legs, but the count of 37 unforced errors against 37 winners went against the Australian. Murray’s fourth round opponent will be Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who defeated Belgium’s David Goffin 6-3 6-4 6-2.
Top seeded Novak Djokovic accounted for Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis with an authoritative 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory. The Serb is on the chase of an elusive French Open crown that he has never won. Djokovic will be against crowd support in the fourth-round as he takes on Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who defeated 17th seeded South African Kevin Anderson 4-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4. Nine-time winner Rafael Nadal scored a quick 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 victory against Russian Andrey Kuznetsov. Nadal takes on USA’s Jack Sock for a place in the quarterfinal. Sock got past Croatian teenager Borna Cilic with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 result. Nadal has never played Sock earlier but he is already circumspect of his chances against the fast rising American.
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