PARIS, June 1, 2018
The bottom half of the men’s draw is in third round action at Roland Garros on Friday led by No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev, who saved one match point to battle past Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Court Philippe-Chatrier, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5.
After a good start, being a set and a break up, Zverev found himself with Dzumhur serving for the match in the fourth set. The 21-year-old German was far from his best tennis, produced 73 unforced errors and had to dig deep to eventually prevail in three hours and 54 minutes.
“The crowd was unbelievable. Thanks to everyone for coming out. It’s the first time I’ve won on this court and in this way. So hopefully many more to come,” Zverev felt relieved and reached the last 16 in Paris for the first time.
“It was a great win, but also being out there was very special,” said Zverev. “It was a very tight match. It’s normal there were a lot of nerves involved. In that moment (at match point down), it’s all about finding a way. Even if you’re not playing your best, it’s all about finding a way to win and finding the right solution to the right moment.
“I think it was important to see for myself that I can win back-to-back five-set matches and both very difficult physical matches,” said Zverev. “I was feeling fine physically, so for me that gives me a lot of confidence going deep into the fifth set, and long matches on this kind of surface. It gives me a lot of confidence.”
Fernando Verdasco booked his place in the fourth round for the seventh time with a 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-4 victory over fourth-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in two hours and 22 minutes.
“I definitely need to take some time off now to reassess the whole clay-court season, to be honest,” Dimitrov said after the match. “That’s going to be the No. 1 priority for me now to kind of step out from the tennis for a little bit, try to watch some matches and try to progress somehow and just get better.”
Next up for Verdasco will be Novak Djokovic, who edged past Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-4, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2.
“It was tough match and I feel pretty tired now,” Djokovic told during his on-court interview. “I needed to be patient to win. Conditions changed during the match, which made it special.”
In the women’s draw, Madison Keys moved into the second week of Roland Garros for the second time in her career with her third win in as many meetings over Naomi Osaka. The No. 13 seed from the United States secured a 6-1, 7-6 victory in one hour and 23 minutes.
“I think even serving at 5-4, I was actually, for the most part, happy with most of my shots – I feel like I just missed some of them,” Keys said. “After that, it was just, OK, let me just focus on my game, make all of the balls that I can. And then I felt like I had to just really balance making the ball when I didn’t have the right one, and then once I had the right one going for it and still trusting my game.”
Keys will next take on 30-year-old Mihaela Buzarnescu, who had never won a Grand Slam main draw match before this week. She’s now upset No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-4 for a place in in the fourth round of Roland Garros.