Djokovic, Nadal achieve career milestones on French Open Day 5
A recap of the action on Day 5 on Thursday at the French Open in Paris, including results, tweets, hot shots, photos and more.
• No. 1 Novak Djokovic kept his quest for his first French Open title alive on Thursday, beating Belgian Steve Darcis 7–5, 6–3, 6–4 to advance to the third round. With the win, the Serb joined Roger Federer and Serena Williams as just the third player in the Open Era to record 50 wins at all four majors.
"I'm pleased to get the job done in three sets, but there were things that I definitely didn't like in my game today. Too many unforced errors from the first or second shot in the rally," Djokovic said after the match. "But credit to Steve [Darcis] for playing a lot of variety and mixing up the pace. Very low slice. It's not easy, because he's very quick, and he anticipates the play very well....The matches will get tougher, and it's kind of expected at the beginning that you are a bit rusty on the court, and hopefully things will get better."
In his post-match press conference Djokovic also confirmed that he is a vegetarian and hasn't eaten meat for almost a year. "How do you call that? A pescatarian, vegan with eating a little bit of fish here and there," he said. The World No. 1 also talked about his success and relationship with coach Boris Becker.
"I think the top players try to find new ways of inspiring themselves and sharing the experience and learning from the all-time greats," he said. "Boris Becker is somebody that accepted our invitation to be part of our team. We are very glad that he did that, because the last couple of years I had some great time with him, and learning a lot from, I think, from psychological point of view of how to handle things on the tour, on and off the court....His contribution to the team is definitely big, and so everything works in harmony so far. How long it is going to go for, we don't know. We go year by year, and, you know, I'm glad that Boris, you know, wants to keep going. So at the end of this year, we will see if he goes for another year."
Djokovic will face Britain's Aljaz Bedene in the third round. The pair last played at the 2015 Australian Open in the first round, where Djokovic prevailed in straight sets.
• The match was up and down but No. 8-seed Timea Bacsinszky was able to defeat Eugenie Bouchard 6–4, 6–4 to advance. The Swiss trailed 1-4, won 10 straight games, then lost four straight before closing out the win. Bouchard almost fought back in the second set to level it at 5-all, but unforced errors kept her from mounting a comeback.
“My game actually feels good. My shots feel good. My movement feels good. So I think it hurts a bit more knowing I can play really well right now,” Bouchard said after the match. “But I know it's a long process and a long journey. When I restarted working with Nick, we talked about a long-term plan.
“I like to say tennis is 90% mental. A lot of things in life are really mental….So I'm kind of on this path to try to get it to be my amazing strength again like it was in the past. The brain is like a muscle. You got to work it out. (Smiling.) So that's what I been trying to do. Doesn't always work out on the match court, but slowly but surely hopefully it will.”
Two-time Roland Garros quarterfinalist Carla Suarez Navarro also advanced, beating Qiang Wang 6-1, 6-3 in the first match of the day on Court 2. Suarez Navarro will next face Dominika Cibulkova, who beat Ana Konjuh 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.
Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva knocked out No. 28-seed and 2015 Roland Garros semifinalist Andrea Petkovic 6–2, 6–2 on Thursday. Looking ahead in the draw, the feisty Putintseva has a solid chance to advance: She’ll face Karin Knapp in the third round and if she wins, will face the winner of Suarez Navarro-Cibulkova.
• After losing the first two games, nine-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal steadied himself to a comfortable win over Facundo Bagnis 6–3, 6–0, 6–3. The victory marked his 200th Grand Slam win in his career, pushing him to eighth on the all-time list.
"Each year is different. Things keep on changing. We have a new story to write," Nadal said after the match when asked about his feelings now compared to the past two years. "The only thing I know is that I have reached round No. 3. That's the only thing that matters for me, and what I know is I have to play at a very high level in order to go deep. That's my sole objective, only reality. The other is mere speculation. And that's not something I like."
• No. 1 Serena Williams had no problem with Teliana Pereira on Thursday, rolling to another quick victory, 6–2, 6–1 in just 68 minutes to advance to the third round. Serena will face the winner of Timea Babos-Kristina Mladenovic next.
Right after Serena, No. 9-seed Venus Williams booked her spot in the third round of the French Open for the first time since 2010. She defeated 20-year-old New Jersey-native Louisa Chirico 6-2, 6-1 in 54 minutes on Thursday. If both Serena and Venus win, they could potentially could face each other in the semifinals.
"It feels like I want to keep going. I don't know. At this stage in my life, in my career, it's like you don't want to lose early, but if it's not the win, it's still a loss. That's kind of where I am right now in my career," Venus said after the match. "I'm just always looking to play better, you know, be consistent, be aggressive, and have that combination. When I step out on the court, it's of course never going to be an easy match for me, but it's never going to be easy for my opponent, as well."
• No. 7-seed Tomas Berdych defeated Malek Jaziri 6–1, 2–6, 6–2, 6–4 to reach the third round, where he’ll Pablo Cuevas, who beat Frenchman Quentin Halys 7-6, 6-3, 7-6 on Thursday.
• 2008 Roland Garros champion and No. 14-seed Ana Ivanovic advanced to the third round on Wednesday with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Kurumi Nara. She awaits the winner of Elina Svitolina-Taylor Townsend.
“I worked a lot in the gym and on court in the last few months. I think the tension that I felt throughout my matches didn't allow me to move as free as I wanted to,” Ivanovic said after the match. “Today I really tried to embrace that, and just to move like I can, like I do in practice. That helped me, especially in a tough physical match like today.”
• Sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallied from two sets down against Marcos Baghdatis to reach the third round of the French Open for the eighth straight year on Thursday. The win also marked his 100th Grand Slam match win. Tsonga will play Ernests Gulbis next.
• More notable results: Monica Puig d. Julia Goerges 7-5, 6-7, 7-5; Elina Svitolina d. Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-0; Borna Coric d. Bernard Tomic 3-6, 6-2, 7-6, 7-6; Alexander Zverev d. Stephane Robert 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4; Madison Keys d. Mariana Duque Marino 6-3, 6-2; Daria Kasatkina d. Virginie Razzano 3-6, 6-1, 6-3; David Goffin d. Carlos Berlocq 7-5, 6-1, 6-4; Nicolas Mahut d. Marcel Granollers 3-6, 2-6, 0-1 (ret.); Ernests Gulbis beat Joao Sousa 6-2, 7-5, 6-3; Roberto Bautista Agut d. Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6, 6-4, 6-1; Dominic Thiem beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 6-4, 7-6; Pauline Parmentier beat Irina Falconi 6-3, 6-1; Aljaz Bedene d. Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6, 6-3, 4-6, 5-7, 6-2; Karin Knapp d. Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-4; Kiki Bertens d. Camila Giorgi 6-4, 6-1
Hot shots of the Day
Tweets of the Day
Nadal has won his five sets this week in 144m— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) May 26, 2016
Quote of the Day
Q. It is your last tournament as a Miss, I think? You played very good in this tournament. Can you tell us something --
ANA IVANOVIC: About?
Q. About the wedding.
ANA IVANOVIC: What?
THE MODERATOR: Next question.
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