Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas yesterday turned up the heat at Roland Garros to book their places in the last 16, as headline acts Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams waited to join them.
German fifth seed Zverev needed another five-setter to reach the fourth round, defeating Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 1-6, 6-2.
Zverev, whose best run at a Grand Slam was in Paris last year when he made the quarter-finals, is to face Italy’s Fabio Fognini for a place in the last eight.
Zverev, 22, had also needed five sets to defeat Australia’s John Millman in the first round.
Yesterday, he hit 18 aces and 52 winners past 30th seed Lajovic, the runner-up to Fognini in Monte Carlo in April.
Fognini needed four sets to defeat Spanish 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
Fognini, 32, trails Zverev 2-1 in head-to-head meetings, but crucially won their most recent meeting in Monte Carlo.
Crowd favorite Tsitsipas became the first Greek player in 83 years to reach the second week at Roland Garros after he survived a scare against Filip Krajinovic.
The sixth seed led by two sets when the match was suspended at 5-5 in the third due to darkness just before 10pm on Friday.
On the resumption yesterday, Tsitsipas lost the set in a tiebreak, but sealed a 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (8/6) success on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The 20-year-old is to take on former champion Stan Wawrinka, who yesterday defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (10-8) after their match on Friday evening was also suspended.
The last Greek player to reach the second week at Roland Garros was Lazaros Stalios in 1936.
As temperatures nudged close to 30°C, defending champion Simona Halep decided not to hang around.
The third seed stormed to a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of Ukrainian 27th seed Lesia Tsurenko.
Later yesterday, Djokovic was to continue his bid to become only the second man in history to hold all four Grand Slams at the same time twice. The top seed and 2016 champion has been untroubled in Paris so far, easing through in straight sets against Hubert Hurkacz and Swiss lucky loser Henri Laaksonen.
In his bid to make the last 16 for the 13th time, the 15-time major winner was to face Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso, ranked 147th.
Women’s top seed Osaka was to seek a place in the last 16 for the first time when she faced Czech world No. 42 Katerina Siniakova, the world’s top-ranked doubles player.
Osaka was two points away from defeat in the first round against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and rallied from a set and break down to see off Victoria Azarenka in round two.
Williams, a three-time champion, is bidding to reach the second week for the 13th time as she aims to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles.
The 37-year-old faces fellow American Sofia Kenin, who was not born when Williams made her debut in Paris in 1998.
Late on Friday, Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and the Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova defeated Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig and American Shelby Rogers 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the fourth round of the women’s doubles.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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