French Open: Novak Djokovic easily advances to 4th round
Nadal, Murray also move on
Novak Djokovic seems in a hurry as he chases his ninth Grand Slam title — and the only one he's never won — racing into the French Open fourth round with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win against 19-year-old Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Rafael Nadal also is through. But his 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 victory against Andrey Kuznetsov was over too quickly to provide a real gauge of the form, spotty of late, of the nine-time French Open champion.
Nadal was on court for just over two hours. He has yet to drop a set in his 11th French campaign. Nadal next plays Jack Sock, the last U.S. man in the draw who blew past 18-year-old Borna Coric 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 to make the last 16 of a major for the first time.
Nadal hasn't played Sock before but is already wary of the 22-year-old.
"An amazing forehand, good serve, very good serve," the Spaniard said. "I have to play aggressive."
Against top-ranked Djokovic, 84th-ranked Kokkinakis dropped serve three times and could not force a single break point in a match lasting 1 hour, 49 minutes.
Djokovic's fourth-round opponent, Richard Gasquet, will have the support of the crowd. The Frenchman, ranked 21st, milked the fans' energy in beating 17th-ranked Kevin Anderson 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5, 6-4.
Five of the last 16 men are French — only the third time they've done that well since Grand Slam tournaments admitted professionals in 1968.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray extended his impressive winning streak on clay, into the fourth round with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 beating of Nick Kyrgios, whose big-hitting was hampered by a sore right serving arm.
Murray also plays a Frenchman next, Jeremy Chardy, ranked 45th. Chardy beat David Goffin, ranked 18th, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Murray's coach, former women's No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo, had "make your own luck" written on her T-shirt. The third-ranked Briton has been doing just that with his improved game on the slippery clay dust.
"This is the best I have played on clay," he said. "The results would obviously suggest that."
In the women's draw, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and former French Open finalist Sara Errani both advanced. But 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone is out. Top-seeded Serena Williams was facing two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka.
Kvitova — a French Open semifinalist three years ago — won 6-3, 6-2 against Irina-Camelia Begu. Errani, ranked 17th, beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-3. Schiavone lost 7-5, 6-4 to Andreea Mitu, a Romanian who had never won a Grand Slam match before this tournament. Sloane Stephens was a 6-4, 6-1 winner against Tsvetana Pironkova.
On the men's side, U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic also advanced in style with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win against Leonardo Mayer. David Ferrer, runner-up at the French in 2013, laboured 6-3, 1-6, 5-7, 6-0, 6-1 in beating Simone Bolelli, ranked 60th. Ferrer and Cilic next play each other.