On Suzanne-Lenglen, no one seems to want or be able to win this first set. Muchova missed a set point when Anisimova burst back, and the American then raced 5-0 up in the breaker. Then came quadruple guilt, if you will, another missed fixture of Muchova.
Now Anisimova has a fixed point, but misses a volley – and Muchova demands the set when her opponent sends a wide shot! The Czech leads 1-0 after an 80-minute first set where no players enjoy it much.
It was a strong start from Fernandez, who moves and hits the ball well; she has an early break and leads Bencic 3-1. Elsewhere, Diego Schwartzman finished the first set against Dimitrov despite some hesitations on service.
Cam Norrie is the last Briton to stand in the singles draws, but there is a lot of British interest in the men’s double. Joe Salisbury and his American partner Raveej Ram are the main seeds, and are currently leading their second-round match against Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 4-4.
It doesn’t go so well for Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, who recently lost the first set in a break-up to American couple Mackenzie Mcdonald and Tommy Paul. Neal Skupski is in a mixed dub action later, along with another American, Desirae Krawczyk.
Bencic and Fernandez warm up at Chatrier, after chatting with the impossible young referee, Manuel Absolu. He’s 31, but has been a grand slam referee for nine years – so certainly not an Absolute beginner. Anyway, let’s move on.
Muchova saved a fixture on service against Anisimova, and now broke her American opponent to lead 6-5. Schwartzman still has a break advantage over Dimitrov, leading 4-3 in the opening.
Last night Stefanos Tsitsipas made it through to the third round after another tough fight – this time with Czech qualifier Zdenek Kolak, who put in points to force a decision-maker before Tsitsipas found a run in form to win the fourth-set devotion break.
“He drove me crazy. It was really frustrating, ”Tsitsipas said in an on-the-fly interview. “He put every part of his body behind the ball. I would like to congratulate him on this effort. ”
In the late match on Chatrier, a home favorite Alize Cornet defeated former champion Yelena Ostapenko 6-0, 1-6, 6-3. She will play Chinese Zheng Qinwen, winner over Simona Halep, in the next round.
It’s a great weekend for sports in Paris, and you can join Dave Tindall for the whole final round of the Champions League here …
The first match on Court Philippe-Chatrier doesn’t start for another half hour or more, but we’re on our way elsewhere. On Suzanne-Lenglen, Amanda Anisimova and Karolina Muchova are level at 2-2 and on service. On Simonne-Mathieu, Diego Schwartzman has an early break on Grigor Dimitrov.
Philippe-Chatrier (from 11am BST)
(14) Belinda Bencic vs. Leylah Fernandez (17)
(1) Novak Djokovic v Aljaz Bedene
Sloane Stephens vs. Diane Parry
(27) Sebastian Korda v Carlos Alcaraz (6) *
* not before 19:45 BST
Suzanne-Lenglen (10am BST)
(27) Amanda Anisimova v Karolina Muchova
(18) Coco Gauff v Kaia Kanepi
(26) Botic Van De Zandschulp v Rafael Nadal (5)
(3) Alexander Zverev v. Brandon Nakashima
Simonne-Mathieu (10am BST)
(18) Grigor Dimitrov vs. Diego Schwartzman (15)
(21) Angelique Kerber v Aliaksandra Sasnovich
(15) Victoria Azarenka vs. Jil Teichmann (23)
(10) Cameron Norrie vs. Karen Khachanov (21)
Court 7 (10am BST)
(10) J Murray & B Soares v M Mcdonald & T Paul
Varvara Gracheva vs. Elise Mertens (31)
(23) John Isner v Bernabe Zapata Miralles
(4) D Krawczyk & N Skupski v S Aoyama & H Nys
Court 14 (singles only)
Martina Trevisan v Daria Saville
(9) Felix Auger-Aliassime v Filip Krajinovic
It’s the sixth day at Roland Garros and things are warming up, with the men’s and women’s singles draws reaching the third round stage, where ranked players begin to eliminate each other and possible paths to glory become clearer.
Speaking of which, there could hardly ever have been a grand slam stack more stacked than the top half of the men’s tournament where Rafa Nadalowner of 13 [thirteen!] French Open titles, is somehow only a third favorite to reach the final.
Botic Van De Zandschulp is the unfortunate soul tasked with trying to derail Nadal today. Defending champion Novak Djokovic faces Aljaz Bedene, while pretender to the throne Carlos Alcaraz will face Sebastian Korda in the evening game.
Elsewhere around the courts, we’ll see Coco Gauff, Sascha Zverevand About Norrie, plus more British interest in men’s doubles. First on Chatrier, though: possible belter inter Belinda Bencic and the runner-up of the US Open, Leylah Fernandez. Where are you going!