Medvedev, Zverev and Tsitsipas all clear tricky second round opponents.

In terms of surprises Day Four at Roland Garros was a quiet one with no major upsets but that didn’t mean the main contenders weren’t made to work for their wins by their lower ranked opponents.

First week you play against guys, some of them play first, second, third time of a Grand Slam, They’re very motivated. They’re excited to play on the big courts, like I thought (Safiulin did) today. I think he played a fantastic match. Yeah, I’m happy to be through in three sets. The match definitely wasn’t easy. Alexander Zverev

World No.2 Daniil Medvedev, playing the night match to an empty stadium after breaking his run of defeats at the French Open, looked set to be reverting back to his old habits when he lost the opening set of his second-round match to American Tommy Paul.

The Russian however, reduced the errors to turn the match around and progress 3-6 6-1 6-4 6-3 to make his first third round appearance at Roland Garros on his fifth attempt.


Alexander Zverev overcame a tricky opponent

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Alexander Zverev, who had recovered from a 0-2 sets scenario in his opening round, managed to get past a very determined Russian qualifier Roman Safiulin, who forced the German sixth seed into two tie-breaks before capitulating 7-6(4) 6-3 7-6(1).

“First week you play against guys, some of them play first, second, third time of a Grand Slam,” Zverev pointed out. “They’re very motivated. They’re excited to play on the big courts, like I thought (Safiulin did) today.

“I think he played a fantastic match. Yeah, I’m happy to be through in three sets. The match definitely wasn’t easy.”


Stefanos Tsitsipas eased into the third round

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The main title contender from the bottom half of the draw, Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Greek star seeded five, slipped through into round three despite losing his serve early, dispatching Spain’s Pedro Martinez 6-3 6-4 6-3.

“It was a good match, and both of us fought hard. It was a very tough match despite it finishing in three sets,” Tsitsipas said, dispelling any fears that spectators might have felt that he had had an easy time of it.

His next match though could prove a problem when he takes on John Isner of the US who is revelling in the Parisienne heat having blown away two big serving opponents to make the third round.

He beat countryman Sam Querrey in straight sets in his opener and followed that up outlasting Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic 7-6(6) 6-1 7-6(5) in round two as he again took full advantage of the warm and dry conditions.

“I’m sure he can serve well right now,” Tsitsipas commented on learning who he will take on next.

“Also, I’m sure he’s a guy who likes to play on clay. You know, conditions are obviously the way they are. Just going to have to do my thing. Just have to find my way around it.”

A confident Isner, following his win, pointed out: “The conditions here are really tailor-made for me, I believe. I’ve played six sets and held serve all six sets, and I hope in a couple days’ time it’s going to be hot just like it was today.”

Americans had a good day for another literal giant of the game Reilly Opelka, posted a great 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-5 win over Spain’s Jaume Munar while Marcos Giron toppled Argentina’s Guido Pella 7-6(2) 6-1 6-7(3) 6-4 and Steve Johnson won his second consecutive five-setter by beating Brazilian Thiago Montiero 6-3 6-7(2) 7-6(2) 3-6 6-3.

On the debit side, MacKenzie McDonald, despite holding two match points in the third set, lost to the Chilean Cristian Garin 4-6 4-6 7-6(7) 6-3 8-6.

The popular Kei Nishikori, who is still rebuilding his career following a lengthy injury lay-off, was also held to a five setter, his second in two rounds, but he in the process beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 4-6 6-2 2-6 6-4 6-4.

“I had a four hours first match, four hours today,” Nishikori remarked. “losing the third set, I kept asking myself if I want to keep playing. There was no answer for me, but I just keep playing.

“My body say no, but my mind was just keep playing. So I was able to win the fourth set without thinking anything. Of course, fifth set you want to fight till the end. Even though I was tired, I was keep playing. At the end I got my chances and I grab it, play good I think the last game.”

Nishikori faces next the Swiss-born-Finn, 29-year-old qualifier, Henri Laaksonen, ranked 150, who produced the only ‘upset’ of the day when he took out Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, the 11th seed, 6-3 2-6 6-3 6-2, and then expressed surprise at his achievement!

“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to win today, so first I have to enjoy this one,” Laaksonen said. “Then I think I have a day off tomorrow. I’ll do my practise, and then when I have the next match, I’ll try to continue from there where I left today.”


Henri Laaksonen can't believe he has reached the third round

Tnani Badreddine/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images


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