Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova booked their places in the second week of the French Open as the third round began on Friday. While the Swiss maestro looked at his flawless best against Bosnian Damir Dzhumur, defending women’s champion Sharapova comfortably came through a potentially tricky test against former runner-up Samantha Stosur.
Another former winner Ana Ivanovic too had an easy day while women’s eighth seed Carla Suarez Navarro was the highest seed to fall on Day 6.
Meanwhile, all the three Indians – Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna won their respective matches to make it a great day for India.
Hassle-free wins for Federer, Sharapova, Ivanovic
It was a smooth day for three former champions. Men’s second seed Roger Federer was on fire as he blasted 38 winners past 23-year-old Damir Dzumhur for a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 triumph.
Maria Sharapova did not want a repeat of her last year’s struggle against Samantha Stosur when she was a set down against the Aussie. The world no. 2 was more careful this time and in the end of a 100-minute battle, the Russian carved out a 6-3, 6-4 victory to move into the Round of 16.
2008 winner Ana Ivanovic was in a hurry that saw her take a fantastic 6-0, 1-0 lead over the young Croat Donna Vekic. Even though Vekic fought back after that, Ivanovic was too strong and closed it out 6-0, 6-3.
Suarez Navarro, Kerber bite the dust
Two of the most in-form players of the clay season failed to book their places in the second week of the French Open. Rome runner-up Carla Suarez Navarro, the only girl in the top 10 with a single-handed backhand, was totally off-colour as she fell to a determined Flavia Pennetta. The eighth seed lost 3-6, 4-6.
11th seeded German Angelique Kerber came to the French Open on the back of two titles at Charleston and Stuttgart. But she was unable to replicate the form and succumbed to last year’s quarter-finalist Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 2-6, 2-6.
Other big names who won on French Open Day 6:
Also progressing to the fourth round were men’s fourth seed Tomas Berdych and eighth seed Stan Wawrinka. While Berdych dropped a set to win 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 over Benoit Paire, Wawrinka pummelled Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
On the women’s side, ninth seed Ekaterina Makarova saw off her doubles partner Elena Vesnina for a place in the Round of 16. Joining her were 13th seed Lucie Safarova and 19th seed Elina Svitolina.
The French are coming!
Much to the delight of the home fans, a host of French players made their way into the Round of 16. However, nobody was as dramatic as Gael Monfils. The 13th seed was down 1-4 in the fourth set against No. 21 Pablo Cuevas.
But, buoyed by the roaring crowd, Monfils made a stunning comeback to prevail 4-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. The win set up a fourth round showdown with Roger Federer.
An ecstatic Gael Monfils said after the match:
“Paris is different; [it] is magic. I don’t know how, but I’m here… I think I can show some new emotion, I can show some tennis and I can show some side of me I don’t even know.”
Monfils’s compatriots, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon both joined him in the fourth round. Simon had to fight a little longer as he came through a five-set win over Nicolas Mahut.
Among the women, French no. 1 Alize Cornet ground out a tough 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Simona Halep’s conqueror, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. This is the first time that Cornet has reached the second week of the French Open.
Indian trio in the hunt
Day 6 witnessed an impressive display by the three Indian stars. In women’s doubles, the top-seeded pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis booked their places in the third round.
In men’s doubles at the French Open, tenth seeds Leander Paes/Daniel Nestor and the ninth-seeded team of Rohan Bopanna/Florin Mergea both advanced to the third round. While Paes-Nestor won in straight sets, Bopanna-Mergea prevailed in three sets.
Check the match details here.
Stars to grace on Day 7:
All eyes will be on one of the most anticipated matches of the French Open – Serena Williams v Victoria Azarenka. Apart from that, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will also look for a berth in the fourth round.