Paris | Evans concedes while Tsitsipas is driven crazy

Day Five at Roland Garros provided no major upsets, a few extended matches as the top names, including Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Casper Ruud, continued to make progress to complete the second round of the draw.

I've been struggling since the middle of last week. It's difficult, I tried my hardest but that's the way it goes. It's professional sport, you've got to be healthy Dan Evans

From a British standpoint, Dan Evan’s was unable to build on his first win at Roland Garros by exiting the clay-court championships and reveailing he was suffering from a chest infection and consequently had away the match against the Swede Mikael Ymer, in four sets.

Seeded 29, the British No.2 lost 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-3 and was booed off court after virtually accepting the match point for the word No.95 by just limply slapping the service return into the net much to the crowd’s displeasure!

Evans had called for medical treatment after the third set and was seen to be coughing throughout the match and could now be fined for his action.

When asked about the crowd reaction, Evans said: “It’s the way it is, isn’t it? I gave away the last point. I couldn’t care less to be honest with you. It was a frustrating day at the office. I think I put in enough effort for three-and-a-half hours. Had I had enough by then? Yes, I was physically spent.

“That was it for me.

“I’ve been struggling since the middle of last week. It’s difficult, I tried my hardest but that’s the way it goes. It’s professional sport, you’ve got to be healthy.

“I’ve had a chest infection since Tuesday last week. I’ve been struggling just with that really. It’s not ideal really. Normal symptoms, sweating a lot in the night, bad sleep. The normal stuff.

“Probably took a lot out of me playing through, getting ready. It’s unfortunate. Still, it’s not an excuse. I was in some good situations but physically I wasn’t spot on. It is what it is.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas is exasperated by Czech qualifier

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Ymer now goes onto to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the round of 16, who was taken to four sets by the 25-year-old Czech qualifier Zdenek Kolar 6-3 7-6(8) 6-7(3) 7-6(7) in what could be described as the men’s Match of the Day which, as far as the Greek fourth seed was concerned, was possibly the most frustrating match he has had to play!

For his second consecutive match – he had to comeback from two sets to love down in his opening match — Tsitsipas struggled to progress past the world No.134 who was playing his first major having failed in his previous 16 attempts to qualify at a grand slam.

In the end Tsitsipas did produce an excellent performance to quell Kolar over four hours after saving four set points in the fourth set tie-break and admitted: “He drove me crazy!

“It was really frustrating. He was putting every part of his body behind the ball.

“It was an incredible effort.”

Daniil Medvedev in action against Laslo Djere

Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, who could jump up into the top spot on the ranking at the end of these championships, cruised into his second straight third round at Roland Garros blowing past Serbian Laslo Djere 6-3 6-4 6-3 who in fact, hit 39 winners but couldn’t contain his unforced errors which by the end of the match, totalled 68.

“Today I think to be honest, Laslo was playing the better clay-court tennis,” the 26-year-old Medvedev said. “But I managed to fight and just put one more ball in the court than him and it was a very tough match, but I am happy to win.”

Medvedev, who made the quarter finals in 2021, goes on to face another Serb, Miomir Kecmanovic, the 28th seed who eliminated the Kazak Alexander Bublic 4-6 7-5 6-2 6-1.

Meanwhile, Medvedev’s countryman Andrey Rublev advanced past Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-3 and will face Chiles Cristian Garin, a 6-3 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3 over Ilya Ivashka from Minsk.

Also through is the Danish teenager Holger Rune who reached his first Slam third round with a 6-2 6-3 6-3 win over Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen firing 28 winners and fortunately avoided serious injury when his foot became lodged in a tarpaulin cover on Court 12.

However, the 19-year-old will have his temperament really tested when he takes on Hugo Gaston and the partisan crowd in the next round, the 21-year-old Frenchman having made light work of Argentina’s Pedro Cachin to win 6-4 6-2 6-4.

Gilles Simon, who will be retiring at the end of the season, is also through to the delight of the home crowds as he extended his final French Open taking out Steve Johnson of the US 7-5 6-1 7-6(6) for the 500th win of his career.

In other action Norway’s Casper Ruud rolled past Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3 6-4 6-2 while Italy’s Jannik Sinner came from a set down to defeat Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3; Belgium’s David Goffin battled past Americas Frances Tiafoe 3-6 7-6(1) 6-2 6-4 and former US Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia, overcame Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 4-6 6-4 6-2 6-3.

Friday should provide a more interesting day with the return of the three title contenders, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

All eyes will be on the youngster Alcaraz who faces the only man who has beaten him this season in Monte Carlo, namely Sebastian Korda of the US.

“I’m still young, but I would say pretty experienced player now,” Alcaraz said last Wednesday. “Well, I feel comfortable playing on big stadium, big matches, playing on Grand Slam. As I said, physically I’m strong. Mentally I’m strong, as well.

“I think I’m ready to play these kind of matches, in these situations, these tournaments. I’m ready, yeah.”

Nadal meets US Open quarter finalist Botic van de Zanchschulp while Djokovic is back to face Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene and Alexander Zverev faces American Brandon Nakashima.

Hugo Gaston is carrying French hopes

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