Osaka hangs tough at French Open; Williams, Djokovic win

Arnold Nichols
June 2, 2019

Trailing 5-1, Osaka won the next three games but was unable to keep her momentum going as the Belarusian took advantage of her unforced errors to close the set.

Victoria Azarenka and Australia's Ashleigh Barty eased past Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic nd Serbian Aleksandra Krunic 6-1, 6-1 in the Roland Garros doubles opener.

"We played in Miami, so I think hard court is a little bit different to play her on hard court".

She was up a set and a break at 5-3 in the second before losing her way.

Teenager Amanda Anisimova scored a second major victory over Sabalenka, who she also beat at the Australian Open, in impressive fashion, triumphing 6-4 6-2 in just 75 minutes to become the youngest American woman in round three at Roland Garros since Williams in 1998.

They would play for more than 1½ additional hours, and Azarenka certainly had opportunities to edge even farther ahead, such as when she had a break point to go up 5-2 and serve for the victory but netted a forehand.

Osaka, who said she had never been more nervous during a match than against Schmiedlova, again made a poor start, with Azarenka winning the first four games. "I said, just move your legs and try to hit first serve and play aggressive".

Serbian world number one Djokovic wasted no time on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, defeating his Swiss rival 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 in just 93 minutes. "It will be the third match in a row that I get to play against someone that I have never faced before in a match".

"She deserves to be where she is - she is very powerful and explosive", said 29-year-old Azarenka.

But last year's finalist at Roland Garros recovered from a break of serve in the fourth set and then gave Bublik a taste of his own medicine on his first match point, producing a well-disguised - and successful - drop shot. Won the last two, so I kind of want to win this one really bad.


Three-time victor Serena Williams, who is looking for a record-equalling 24th major, faces Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara.

"It was an unfortunate second round draw for me so I am happy to win". But on her third attempt at match point, Osaka finally converted, and eluded the upset in nearly three hours of world-class tennis.

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

"I knew she was playing well".

He had to save two set points in the fourth set to avoid a decider and was relieved to win 6-3 6-7 (6) 6-3 7-5.

No. 5 Alexander Zverev swept Swede Mikael Ymer 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in a match that took half the time as his first-round five-setter.

Asked whether a third-round appearance was satisfactory, given her issues, Williams not surprisingly said it was not.

No. 2 Karolina Pliskova, No. 4 Kiki Bertens, No. 5 Angelique Kerber and No. 6 Petra Kvitova are all out of the French Open.

The French Open is possibly the toughest title to win in tennis, given the physical and emotional stress it puts on the players.

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