Djokovic, Federer reach French Open 4th round


May 31, 2014

PARIS, FRANCE: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both needed four sets to reach the fourth round of the French Open on Friday.

May 31, 2014

PARIS, FRANCE: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both needed four sets to reach the fourth round of the French Open on Friday.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic waves after defeating Croatia's Marin Cilic during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France on Friday. Djokovic won 6-3, 6-, 6-7, 6-4.

The second-seeded Serb won 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4 against Marin Cilic, improving to 9-0 in their head-to-head meetings, but looked sluggish at times.

Federer, meanwhile, was in total control before wasting four set points in the second set on his way to a 7-5, 6-7 (7), 6-2, 6-4 win against Dmitry Tursunov.

“I’m pleased I found a way and played it solid and tough toward the very end,” Federer said. “When somebody serves big like he does, it’s sometimes a bit difficult.”

Djokovic dropped serve early to trail 3-1, made sloppy unforced errors in the tiebreaker, and was broken back in the fourth set after leading 4-2. He sealed the victory on his first match point when the 25th-seeded Croat double-faulted.

The six-time Grand Slam champion next plays either 13th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France or No. 22 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, who played later Thursday.

Djokovic is looking to win the French Open for the first time. He lost to eight-time champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals last year.

In the tiebreaker, Djokovic’s weak drop shot at 6-2 down gave Cilic an easy chance to whip a forehand winner.

Frustration got to Djokovic in the eighth game of the fourth set, with the player shaking his head when another Cilic shot clipped the net and bounced in to give him a break point.

Djokovic vigorously pumped his fist after saving it but then gave another chance with a backhand into the net. He got out of trouble with a strong serve that Cilic returned into the net, but Cilic took his next chance, breaking back to 4-4 with a backhand volley at full stretch at the net.

Federer, who had won his opening two matches in straight sets, converted only four of his 21 break-point opportunities against the 31st-seeded Russian.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion even joked when asked, moments after the match, if his poor conversion rate worried him.

“I pretend there isn’t a problem,” he said, breaking into a huge grin. “I’ll go for the next one, and the next one, and the next one.”

Tursunov was trailing 0-40 in the 12th game and 7-6 down in the tiebreaker, but went on to level the match with a forehand pass down the line.

“I wish at times I could have played a bit more offensive,” Federer said.

Shortly after winning the second-set tiebreaker, Tursunov appeared to have a minor meltdown while trailing 2-1 in the third. He argued with the chair umpire and took a medical timeout. He left the court for several minutes.

Federer is trying to win the title at Roland Garros for the second time. He is the 2009 champion, but lost in the quarterfinals last year. The Swiss star next plays No. 18 Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, who reached the fourth round here for the first time since 2008 the year he reached the last eight after beating Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.

“I don’t want to tell all my cards. But I have a game plan,” Gulbis said. “You don’t need to be scared to do certain things against him.”

Federer leads Gulbis 2-1. All of those matches were in 2010 and they are 1-1 on clay.

“I’m aware of the challenge ahead of me,” Federer said. “I have had some tough matches with him in the past.”

In the women’s third round, third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska became the latest favorite to be eliminated, losing 6-4, 6-4 to unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia.

The loss means the top three seeded women have all been eliminated, following the exits of No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 2 Li Na.

It was the earliest Grand Slam exit for Radwanska, the 2012 Wimbledon finalist, since losing in the third round here two years ago.

The 21-year Tomljanovic next plays No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who beat American teen Taylor Townsend 6-2, 6-2.

Former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur beat No. 9 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-4.

Milos Raonic reaches 4th round

Meanwhile, righth-seeded Milos Raonic became the first Canadian man in history to reach the fourth round at the French Open, beating Gilles Simon of France 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 on Friday.

Raonic has twice made the fourth round at the Australian Open and twice at the U.S. Open, but his best result at Roland Garros had been the third round.

The Results

Men: Singles: Third round: 10-John Isner (USA) bt 17-Tommy Robredo (Esp) 7-6(13), 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 7-5; 6-Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt 27-Roberto Bautista Agut (Esp) 6-1,6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4; 18-Ernests Gulbis (Lat) bt Radek Stepanek (Cze) 6-3, 6-2, 7-5; 4-Roger Federer (Sui) bt 31-Dmitry Tursunov (Rus) 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-4; 2-Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt 25-Marin Cilic (Cro) 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-4; 13-Jo Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) bt 22-Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

Second round: 24-Fernando Verdasco (Esp) bt Pablo Cuevas (Uru) 4-6, 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4, 6-4; 14-Fabio Fognini (Ita) bt Thomaz Bellucci (Bra) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(2); Jack Sock (USA) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.

Women: Singles: Third round: 7-Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt Paula Ormaechea (Arg) 6-0, 6-0; Gabrine Murguruza (Esp) bt Anna Schmiedlova (Svk) 6-2, 6-4; Ajla Tomljanovic (Cro) bt 3-Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) 6-4, 6-4; 19-Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt 9-Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) 6-4, 6-4; 14-Carla Suarez Navarro (Esp) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-2, 6-2.

Second round: 11-Ana Ivanovic (Srb) bt Elina Svitolina (Ukr) 7-5, 6-2; 26-Sorana Cirstea (Rou) bt Teliana Pereira (Bra) 6-2, 7-5.

Mixed doubles: First round: 2-Rohan Bopanna (Ind) & Katarina Srebotnik (Slo) bt Marc Lopez (Esp) & Andrea Hlavackova (Cze) 7-6(3), 7-5.

Courtesy: A{