Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal continue their perfect start to Roland Garros after winning their match again in three sets on Saturday 5 June, while Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti qualifies for the first time in the round of 16 of a tournament in the Grand Slam, only 19 years old. Disappointment among women for Elina Svitolina, seed number 5, who lost in straight sets.
Djokovic passes without trembling
The turns go by and look the same for Novak Djokovic. The Serbian made short work of Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis in the third round of the French Open with a three-set victory (6-1, 6-4, 6-1) and an hour and a half of play on the court Philippe-Chatrier. Seed number 1, unhappy finalist in 2020, Djokovic has still not lost a round in this 2021 edition of Roland-Garros.
After crushing Tennys Sandgren in the first round and then Pablo Cuevas in the second, the Serbian easily got rid of Berankis, whom he had beaten in the second round of the last edition. The Lithuanian has never managed to level with the world number 1. He barely managed to stand up to Djokovic in the second set, without preventing him from breaking him at 3-2.
As in 2020, Djokovic therefore passes his first rounds without difficulty. In the fall (the tournament had been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic), the Serb dropped his first quarterfinal set against Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta. In the eighth, Djokovic will meet the young and amazing Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who is playing his very first major tournament.
It will take much more than what Cameron Norrie proposed this Saturday to worry Rafael Nadal in this Roland-Garros tournament. Three-time winner of the event, the Spaniard won without forcing in three sets and two hours and seven minutes of play (6-3, 6-3, 6-3). Facing him, the British left-hander took to the water, while Nadal slowly gained strength after his first two rounds contested against Alexei Popyrin and Richard Gasquet.
In this match, Nadal had very little doubt. The start of the second set made him tremble slightly when he broke from the start. At 3-1 for Norrie, the Mallorcan then spent the second to chain five games in a row and win the round 6-3. Clinic, still impressive in the effort, Nadal once again seems unstoppable on the clay of the Porte d’Auteuil.
Since the start of his fortnight in Paris, the world number 3 has still not conceded a set to his opponents. Already in the fall, he had not lost a single tournament.
Italians make their hole in Paris
They are young, talented and very successful. The Italians Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti, 19 years old each, validated their ticket for the eighth by winning respectively against Mikael Ymer (6-1, 7-5, 6-3) and Marco Cecchinato (3-6, 6 -4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3). Sinner, neophyte on the ocher of the Porte d’Auteuil, had to work, especially in the second set, to get rid of his opponent.
But the Italian, who notably eliminated the French Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round, ended up finding the key to beating the Swede Ymer. Sinner imitated Musetti, who qualified for the eighth earlier in the afternoon, after beating Marco Cecchinato, ten years his senior, in an Italian-Italian match.
After a bitter fight lasting more than three hours, Musetti confirmed his full potential as he played his very first Grand Slam tournament. Impressive technically, the Transalpin made one of the tournament’s blows, which capsized the audience with happiness in court number 7. 76e in the ATP ranking, the beautiful promise of world tennis still had to do it five times to win the match, after four match points saved by Cecchinato. With this victory, Musetti becomes the sixth player since 2000 to climb into the second week for his Major debut.
Svitolina out, Swiatek and Kenin jostled
Roland-Garros is decidedly not suitable for the best players in the world this year: among the top ten in the WTA rankings, there are already only three left. Saturday, Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, 6e world player, was eliminated in the third round. The 26-year-old, quarter-finalist in 2020, lost in straight sets against Czech Barbora Krejcikova (33e), 6-3, 6-2.
Krejcikova notably emerged victorious from a 4-3 marathon service game in her favor in the first set, to allow her to confirm the break she had just achieved and soar to the victory of the first set. She reached the knockout stages of a Grand Slam for the second time in her career, after the 2020 Roland-Garros edition.
Among the big names who survived Roland-Garros, defending champion Iga Swiatek (9e) qualified in two stages: after being led, then pushed to the tie-break by the Estonian Anett Kontaveit, the Polish finally won the first set (7-6), before inflicting a 6-0 to his opponent in the second.
The fifth player in the world, Sofia Kenin, is also still in the race. The American had a tough game, even conceding the first set against compatriot Jessica Pegula 6-4. But she was able to bounce back with authority, winning without trembling the next two sets (6-1, 6-4) to reach the round of 16.
Third member of the Top 10 still present in the tournament, Serena Williams (8e) is playing its third round on Sunday.