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French Open: Zverev stretched on way to third round

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Paris, June 2 (IANS) Sixth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany used all his energy to overcome Russian qualifier Roman Safiullin 7-6(4), 6-3, 7-6(1) to secure a spot in the French Open third round on Wednesday.

World No.6 Zverev, who recovered from two sets down against qualifier Oscar Otte of Germany on Sunday, took 60 minutes to win the nerve-wracking opening set against Safiullin.

Zverev will next play Serbian Laslo Djere, who defeated compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

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Zverev was broken when serving for the set at 6-5, but got off to a strong start in the tie-break to win 7-6(4). This is the fifth time Zverev has progressed to the French Open third round, with his best showing coming in 2018 and 2019 when he reached the quarter-finals.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia eased into the second round after a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win over American 66th ranked player Tennys Sandgren in the first ever men’s night session on Court Philippe-Chatrier late on Tuesday evening.

Djokovic will next face a Top-100 player from Uruguay, Pablo Cuevas, who advanced after a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory against Frenchman Lucas Pouille.

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Djokovic, beaten by world No. 3 Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Roland Garros final last year, has now won his previous 16 first-round matches in Paris.

“Overall from [the] later stages of the Rome tournament until now, I’m just finding my groove on the court and striking the ball well. Very pleased with the way I am feeling and playing on the court,” Djokovic told atptour.com

–IANS

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