French open: Garbine Muguruza survives, Djoko sails on

Agencies

Sports, Tennis

Kvitova, local hope Tsonga lose; Nadal in hunt for 10th Roland Garros title.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic serves to Joao Sousa of Portugal in their French Open second round match at Roland Garros. Djokovic won 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 (Photo: AP)

Paris: Reigning champion Garbine Muguruza survived a tough French Open second-round challenge from Anett Kontaveit, while men’s title-holder Novak Djokovic stormed into the last 32 on Wednesday.

Record nine-time champion Rafael Nadal marched into the third round after crushing Dutchman Robin Haase 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.

The Spaniard is bidding to become the first man to win 10 titles at a single Grand Slam event and will play Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia for a place in the last 16.

Muguruza’s patchy form this season included a loss to the world number 53 in Stuttgart, with the Spaniard again in dire trouble in Paris after falling a set and a break behind against the Estonian.

But the fourth seed recovered to claw out a 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 win and book a third-round clash with Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

“I have a different spirit here, I’m going to fight for every ball to try and win,” said Muguruza, who defeated Serena Williams in last year’s final. “She was playing so good first two sets, I was just hanging there waiting for my moment and in the third set it came.”

Djokovic needed little over two hours to see off Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 as he bids to become the first man in the Open era to win each Grand Slam twice.

Sixth seed Dominic Thiem charged into round three with a routine win over Simone Bolelli, sweeping the Italian aside 7-5, 6-1, 6-3.

Hopes of a first French men’s champion since Yannick Noah in 1983 suffered a huge blow as 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga crashed out in his opening match.

The Frenchman won his first clay-court title in Lyon last week but slid to a four-set defeat to Roland Garros debutant Renzo Olivo in a tie held over from Tuesday.

Serving to stay in the match when play resumed, Tsonga was broken immediately by the Argentine world number 91 as Olivo wrapped up a 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4 win.

American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands halted Petra Kvitova’s comeback, defeating the popular Czech 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5) in her first tournament since a horrifying knife attack in December.

“I’m disappointed, for sure. I came here to win the matches,” said twice former Wimbledon champion Kvitova.

“But I really fight. I mean, after the match, I didn’t feel that bad as normally I probably do.

“I’m still happy I’m here and playing. The fairytale ended. Now, in upcoming weeks, I think it will be business as usual.”

Venus Williams shook off a slow start to ease into the third round with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Japan’s Kurumi Nara.

Bopanna in Rd 2; Sania out

Rohan Bopanna won in the opening round of men’s doubles but Sania Mirza’s women’s doubles campaign ended on the day. Bopanna and his Uruguayan partner Pablo Cuevas, ninth seeds, outplayed France’s Mathias Bourgue and Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-1, 6-1.

Fourth seeds Sania and Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova were beaten 6-7, (5), 6-1, 2-6 by unseeded Anastasia Pavlyuche-nkova of Russia and Australia’s Daria Gavrilova.   

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