World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev didn’t have to force too much Thursday to advance to the third round of Roland Garros at the expense of Serbia’s Laslo Djere (56th), whom he beat 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in 2:35.
The task will likely be more complicated in the next round for the 26-year-old Russian who has little taste of clay and will face another Serb, Miomir Kecmanovic (31st), who fell to Alexander Bublik on Thursday.
After winning the first two sets, Medvedev was hooked in the third by an opponent who managed many winning points (39 in total).
But the Serbians also committed many direct fouls (68) that allowed the Russian to control the game.
Medvedev was never really put in danger with a successful break from the start in the third set and relying on an efficient serve (7 aces in total, including 3 in the third set).
He even concluded on Djere’s serve by taking advantage of a double fault and then a direct foul by his opponent.
“I was not confident in this third set because I was only one break ahead, and on clay, a break is nothing,” commented the Russian happy to have come out of a “difficult match.”
Last year, he reached the quarter-finals in Paris, where he passed the first round for the first time in five participations.
This year, for his sixth Roland, he arrived in the unknown after undergoing surgery to treat a “slight hernia.”
Absent from the circuit for two months, he had returned to Geneva just before the France International, where he had been beaten as soon as he entered the competition by Richard Gasquet.
Winner of the last U.S. Open, Medvedev was a finalist at the last two Australian Open, where Djokovic beat him in 2021 and Nadal last January.
For her part, eighth-seeded Casper Ruud emulated Medvedev and reached the third round for a third year in a row in Paris.
The 23-year-old Norwegian beat Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Ruud won the Geneva Open last week, enjoying his seventh career title on clay.
Meanwhile, Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, the 12th seed, ousted Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
Finalist of the tournament in 2021 and fourth seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Czech Zdenek Kolar 6-3, 7-6 (8), 6-7 (3), and 7-6 (7).
In two matches, Tsitsipas has already spent more than seven and a half hours on the courts of the Porte d’Auteuil.
The most prolific player in 2022 with 33 victories, including sixteen on ochre, Tsitsipas is playing his sixth Roland-Garros.
He has progressed in each of his participations: first round in 2017, second in 2018, eighth of finals in 2019, semi-finals in 2020, and final in 2021. A sign?
“He drove me crazy,” said the 23-year-old Athenian about his daring opponent, warmly supported by the audience of the Suzanne-Lenglen court, which was not without annoying him in the tensest moments.
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