Zverev survives 4-hour marathon, Del Potro battles on

Paris – Alexander Zverev survived a bruising four-hour battle to reach the French Open second round on Tuesday while dangerman Juan Martin del Potro also progressed.

German fifth seed Zverev, a quarter-finalist in Paris in 2018, battled past Australia’s John Millman 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3.

The champion in Geneva last weekend fired 57 winners past world number 56 Millman who stunned Roger Federer at the US Open last year.

However, he also committed 73 unforced errors on a blustery day in the French capital.

“John is a tough player who beat Federer so I knew it would be difficult today,” said Zverev, bidding to become the first German man to win the Roland Garros title since Henner Henkel in 1937.

“It was very windy today so that made the conditions very difficult. It was a first match against a great opponent.

“I got through and that’s all that matters.”

Next up for Zverev is Swedish qualifier Mikael Ymer, the world number 148 of Ethiopian origin, who marked his Grand Slam debut with a 6-0, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) win over Slovenia’s Blaz Rola.

“He (Zverev) has very proven that he belongs up there,” said Ymer, the younger brother of fellow tour player Elias. “He is definitely one of the best in the game at the moment, so it’s a tough challenge.”

Argentine eighth seed Del Potro, a semi-finalist in 2009 and 2018, made the second round with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win over Chilean world number 58 Nicolas Jarry.

“I think I’m playing well at the moment, but my main goal is still the knee, my health,” said Del Potro who is still feeling his way back after knee surgery.

Next up for the giant Argentine is a clash against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

Jarry lived and died by the sword on Court Suzanne Lenglen, his 47 winners almost cancelled out by his 41 unforced errors.

Two-time Grand Slam winner and former world number one Victoria Azarenka defeated 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) in a match which featured 13 breaks of serve.

Ostapenko has now lost in the first round in her last two visits to Paris with her wretched performance highlighted by an ugly 60 unforced errors.

Azarenka, ranked 43 in the world, will face top seed Naomi Osaka if the Japanese star gets past Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in her tournament opener.

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, the surprise champion at Indian Wells, marked her Roland Garros debut by beating Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

The 18-year-old, playing for the first time since Miami after suffering a shoulder injury, hit 58 winners and 60 unforced errors in the tie suspended due to darkness on Monday night.

There were also 17 breaks of serve in the match which stretched to over three hours.

Other early winners Tuesday included Monte Carlo champion Fabio Fognini, seeded nine, who defeated Andreas Seppi in an all-Italian clash, 6-3, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3.

Later Tuesday, defending champion Simona Halep faces Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, the world number 47, in her first round tie.

Tomljanovic reached the fourth round in Paris in 2014, beating former champion Francesca Schiavone in the first round.

Results from the third day of the French Open on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):


1st round

Fabio Fognini (ITA x9) bt Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-3, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3

Federico Del Bonis (ARG) bt Guillermo García-López (ESP) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Taylor Fritz (USA) bt Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-1, 6-4, 6-1

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x18) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Dusan Lajovic (SRB x30) bt Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Elliot Benchetrit (FRA) bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-3, 6-0, 6-2

Mikael Ymer (SWE) bt Blaž Rola (SLO) 6-0, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)

Alexander Zverev (GER x5) bt John Millman (AUS) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3

Kyle Edmund (GBR x28) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-6 (7/1), 5-7, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5

Fernando Verdasco (ESP x23) bt Dan Evans (GBR) 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-2

Karen Khachanov (RUS x10) bt Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 6-1, 6-1, 6-4

Grégoire Barrère (FRA) bt Matthew Ebden (AUS) 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-1

Lucas Pouille (FRA x22) bt Simone Bolelli (ITA) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5

Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt Alejandro Davidovich (ESP) 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 7-6 (7/4), 7-5, 6-7 (7/9), 7-5

Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) bt Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 6-7 (7/9), 6-0, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3

Juan Martín Del Potro (ARG x8) bt Nicolás Jarry (CHI) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4


1st round

Naomi Osaka (JPN x1) bt Anna Karolína Schmiedlová (SVK) 0-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)

Caroline Garcia (FRA x24) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 6-2, 6-4

Anna Blinkova (RUS) bt Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 6-3, 4-6, 8-6

Priscilla Hon (AUS) bt Tímea Babos (HUN) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1

Madison Keys (USA x14) bt Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 6-1, 6-2

Kurumi Nara (JPN) bt Dalila Jakupovic (SLO) 7-5, 5-7, 6-3

Bianca Andreescu (CAN x22) bt Marie Bouzková (CZE) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

Magda Linette (POL) bt Chloé Paquet (FRA) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2

Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 6-3, 2-2 – retired

Lesya Tsurenko (UKR x27) bt Eugénie Bouchard (CAN) 6-2, 6-2

Daria Kasatkina (RUS x21) bt Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 6-2, 6-3

Mónica Puig (PUR) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-1, 7-5

Wang Qiang (CHN x16) bt Saisai Zheng (CHN) 6-1, 7-5

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x11) bt Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 7-5, 6-1

Amanda Anisimova (USA) bt Harmony Tan (FRA) 6-3, 6-1

Amanda Anisimova (USA) bt Harmony Tan (FRA) 6-3, 6-1

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) bt Zhu Lin (CHN) 6-1, 6-1

Karolína Muchová (CZE) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST x17) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2