French Open 2019: Naomi Osaka levels one other escape to enter final 32; Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams stroll into third spherical


Paris: Naomi Osaka staged a second successive Roland Garros nice escape on Thursday as fellow high seed Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams strolled into the final 32.

World primary Osaka, bidding so as to add the French Open to her US and Australian Open titles, got here again from a set and 2-Four all the way down to defeat former world primary Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Her win got here on the again of being simply two factors from defeat in her event opener in opposition to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Naomi Osaka shakes palms together with her opponent Victoria Azarenka after profitable her second spherical conflict. Reuters

The 21-year-old held her nerve, regardless of squandering two match factors late within the deciding set, to safe a conflict in opposition to Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.

“I was lucky to have played Victoria twice before. I knew she had been playing well coming into the tournament,” mentioned Osaka.

“It was an unfortunate second round draw for me so I am happy to win.”

Osaka completed the two-hour 50-minute encounter on Court Suzanne Lenglen with 52 winners and 43 unforced errors.

She turns into the primary high seed to win her two opening matches at Roland Garros after shedding the primary set since Lindsay Davenport in 2005.

“She deserves to be where she is — she is very powerful and explosive,” mentioned 29-year-old Azarenka.

Siniakova, the world quantity 42, additionally endured a marathon win, placing out Greek 29th seed Maria Sakkari 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (8/10), 6-Three in a three-hour 10-minute duel.

Siniakova had trailed 1-5 within the first set earlier than surrendering a 5/2 lead within the second-set tiebreaker.

Big daddy Djokovic

Djokovic cruised into the final 32 for the 14th successive 12 months, admitting it had been an emotional day taking part in for the primary time in entrance of his four-year-old son.

Djokovic, bidding to change into simply the second man to carry all 4 Slams on the similar time twice, cruised to a 6-1, 6-4, 6-Three win over Swiss fortunate loser Henri Laaksonen.

Watching from the participant’s field on Court Suzanne Lenglen was Djokovic’s son Stefan.

“It’s a very special day for me as it’s the first time in my life that I have played in front of my son,” mentioned the 32-year-old Serb after a 23rd straight win on the Slams.

“He showed incredible patience to sit there for an hour and a half. Usually, he’s not that patient with tennis.”

Djokovic goes on to face Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso, ranked 147, for a spot within the final 16 in Paris.

Thursday was much more pleasing for Djokovic than his final go to to Court Suzanne Lenglen in 2018 when he was knocked out within the quarter-finals by Marco Cecchinato.

Three-time French Open champion Williams thrashed Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara to step up her bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

The 37-year-old cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory and subsequent faces fellow American Sofia Kenin.

“I’m very serious when I play, but I’m happy,” mentioned Williams.

A mouthwatering quarter-final conflict with Osaka, who famously beat Williams in a dramatic 2018 US Open closing, stays a chance.

Williams hammered 10 aces and 36 winners previous world quantity 238 Nara, who stands a mere 5 ft 1 inch (1.55 metres).

Fourth seed Dominic Thiem overcame an entertaining problem from Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik to succeed in the third spherical for the fourth straight 12 months.

The Austrian fourth seed was going through a fifth set when trailing 5-2 within the fourth, however reeled off 5 straight video games to win 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 7-5.

World quantity 91 Bublik delighted the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd together with his big selection of pictures, together with three underarm serves within the opening set.

The reward for Thiem is a conflict in opposition to Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas who made it via when British primary Kyle Edmund retired with a knee harm at 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 2-1 down.

Amanda Anisimova turned the youngest American lady since Williams in 1999 to make the third spherical when the 17-year-old defeated Belarus’ 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-2.

Fellow 17-year-old Iga Swiatek of Poland additionally reached the final 32, seeing off Chinese 16th seed Wang Qiang.

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