No. 4 Seeds Dimitrov and Svitolina Lose, Zverev Survives, Djokovic, Wozniacki Advance at Roland Garros
(June 1, 2018) Both No. 4 seeds in the men’s and women’s singles lost on Friday at the French Open, while second seed Alexander Zverev saved a match point to advance to the fourth round.
Fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, who has never reached the fourth round at Roland Garros, was stopped by veteran Spaniard, and world No. 35 Fernando Verdasco 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-4 in the third round on Friday.
This will be the seventh time the Spaniard has reached the round of 16 in Paris.
“I was just trying to go in that moment point by point and trying to just do the best I could what I thought it was right,” Verdasco said. And I have been able to pass that game with one of the set points with a second serve ace on the line that I took a little bit of risk, actually but it went well.
“And then in the tiebreak, you know, I think that I played a little bit better than him. That’s why I have been able to win that set that it was very important I think for the rest of the match, because in the second set you could see that I was playing more loose and with a little bit deeper shots. And he start to make a little bit more mistakes than in the first set.
“After that, of course, with two sets to love, even that I had break up twice, he stayed in the match and he keep fighting. You know, I needed to push a little bit harder to close the match. But, you know, I did it and I’m very happy that I have been able to beat one player like Grigor and be in the fourth round here in Paris again.”
Elina Svitolina, Dimitrov’s counterpart on the women’s side and one of the favorites to win the title, lost to the 31st seed Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 7-5 loss in the third round.
“I knew from the beginning it’s going to be a really tough match,” said Mihaela Buzarnescu. “And I only wanted to be aggressive and wait for the good shots and just go for it, play angles and move on, move on in the court. Because, otherwise, she would just take advantage of every short ball that I was hitting.
“And I kept thinking that it’s just one match as another match, and I just need to play my own game. Okay, of course, when you start seeing that you’re kind of winning and leading in the match, thoughts are coming. So I had some ups and downs, but I really managed to get through it and play a good match today.”
“I didn’t know much about her because she raised really quickly,” Svitolina said in her media conference.
“I watched little bit video of her playing, so I knew a little bit what to expect. But today I was off and couldn’t find my rhythm, my game today, and was really struggling.
“On the other hand, she was playing great tennis. She was really, really on the ball today. I couldn’t do much today to get a win.”
Second seed Alexander Zverev needed to save a match point to beat 26th seed Damir Dzumhur before completing comeback to win 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-5. This marks the first time the German, Zverev has beaten a Top 50 player at a major. The fourth round equals the furthest that Zverev has gone in a major, he also reached the round of 16 at 2017 Wimbledon.
Former champion Novak Djokovic battled past Spaniard Robert Bautista Agut 6-4 6-7(6) 7-6(4) 6-2 victory. It’s the Serb’s lowest seeding at a major since 2006.
“I think it was a great fight, almost four hours,” said Djokovic. Bautista Agut, he’s not going to hand you the win. You have to deserve it.
“You know, for me, not having so many matches in the last period, this is great. I mean, of course I don’t want to play four, five hours every match, but I think it was a great test. I had to earn my victory. Last set was actually the best set that I have played so far in the tournament. I don’t feel too exhausted. That’s the good news, as well. I’m just looking forward to next challenge.”
Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the 19th seed sailed past Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-1, 6-3, while the 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta lost to Marco Cecchinato 2-6 7-6(5) 6-3 6-1.
Second seed Caroline had no problems with French woman Pauline Parmentier winning 6-0, 6-3.
Earlier in the day U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys overcame a late second set comeback from Naomi Osaka to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros for the second time in three years. The No. 13th seed won 6-1, 7-6 (7).
“Naomi raised her level a lot in the second set and I really just had to hang in there,” Keys said on court after the match.
“Clay is growing on me. It’s not my favorite still but being in the round of 16 for a second time definitely makes it a little bit better.”