Canadians Auger-Aliassime, Fernandez cruise into 3rd round of French Open
Bianca Andreescu falls to Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic of Switzerland
Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez advanced to the third round of the French Open on Wednesday while Bianca Andreescu was eliminated in straight sets.
Auger-Aliassime made quick work of Argentine qualifier Camilo Ugo Carabelli, winning 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round of the Paris major for the first time in his career.
The 21-year-old Montreal product, the tournament's ninth seed, fired eight aces and converted on five of 10 break points in a dominating display on the clay at Roland Garros.
Auger-Aliassime looked much more confident against Carabelli than he did in his shaky opening-round 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas on Sunday.
WATCH | Auger-Aliassime makes quick work of Ugo Carabelli:
"It was a better start than my first round, for sure," he said. "I think that gave me confidence that if I kept going this way and won my service games and stayed aggressive and tried to dominate, I would give myself a good chance to win in straight sets."
Auger-Aliassime's next match is Thursday against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic, who defeated Borna Gojo of Croatia 7-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
Montreal's Leylah Fernandez, seeded 17th on the women's side, needed just 71 minutes to knock off Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 6-2.
"I think I just played a really good match, especially on important points in the first set," Fernandez said. "In the second set, I was happy I was able to keep that offensiveness and keep going for my shots, and I'm glad that the balls went in when it mattered."
WATCH | Fernandez advances at French Open:
Later in the day, Andreescu dropped a 6-2, 6-4 decision to No. 14 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.
Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., made a late charge by winning three straight games late in the second set before Bencic held serve for the victory.
Bencic, who won Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games last summer, will meet Fernandez in a third-round match on Friday.
WATCH | Andreescu loses in straight sets:
Nadal gets 300th Grand Slam match win
Rafael Nadal reached 300 career Grand Slam match victories by beating Corentin Moutet 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in the second round.
The only real blip for 13-time French Open champion Nadal on Wednesday night in Court Philippe Chatrier came near the end, when he was broken by the 139th-ranked Frenchman while serving for the match at 5-3.
When <a href="https://twitter.com/RafaelNadal?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RafaelNadal</a> turns on the jets 💨<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RolandGarros?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RolandGarros</a> <a href="https://t.co/5iClQ2G5Jl">pic.twitter.com/5iClQ2G5Jl</a>—@rolandgarros
But Nadal broke right back to improve to 107-3 at Roland Garros.
Only Roger Federer, with 369, and Novak Djokovic, who collected his 325th earlier Wednesday, are ahead of Nadal on the men's list for career wins at major tournaments.
Djokovic solid in win, Alcaraz survives
World No. 1 Djokovic completed a solid 6-2 6-3 7-6 (4) victory over Slovakia's Alex Molcan in the second round of to keep his title defence and quest for a record-equalling 21st Grand Slam on track.
With Djokovic unable to defend his Australian Open title due to his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Spaniard Rafa Nadal broke a three-way tie for the most Grand Slam titles with the Serb and Roger Federer by winning the Melbourne Park major at the start of the year.
Yet a successful rerun of his 2021 Roland Garros campaign, when he beat 13-time French Open winner Nadal in the semi-finals, will lift Djokovic alongside his great rival.
The sixth-seeded Alcaraz grabbed six of the final seven games, and the last half-dozen points, to finish off the second-round victory that lasted more than 4 ½ hours.
Alcaraz is just 19 but arrived in Paris with a lot of expectations — of his own and of others — based on his breakthrough season that includes a tour-leading four titles. He is the youngest player to break into the top 10 of the ATP rankings since Nadal in 2005.
En route to the Madrid Open title on red clay earlier this month, Alcaraz became the first man to beat both Nadal and Djokovic in the same tournament on that surface.
But he was quite close to making a quicker-than-anyone-expected exit against fellow Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas, a 34-year-old who is ranked 44th.
Alcaraz was a point from losing while Ramos-Vinolas served for the victory at 5-4 in the fourth set. But Ramos-Vinolas missed a forehand there. Eighty minutes later, after trailing 3-0 in the fifth, Alcaraz earned his first match point and converted it with an ace.
Zverev rallies from 2 sets down
Alexander Zverev had to rally from two sets down and save a match point to reach the third round.
The German overcame Argentina's Sebastian Baez 2-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 7-5.
That's the good news for the No. 3 seed.
Zverev had trouble with the 21-year-old Baez's serve but got his return game in order in the third set.
Zverev saved a match point before holding for 5-5 in the decider and then broke Baez before serving out the match.
The last time Zverev put himself in a two-set hole at Roland Garros it didn't end as well. He battled back in the semifinals last June against Stefanos Tsitsipas but lost in five sets.
U.S. Open champ ousted
U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu is out of the French Open in the second round.
Raducanu lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 to end her Roland Garros tournament debut.
The 19-year-old Raducanu broke Sasnovich in the fifth game of the opening set, hitting consecutive backhand winners followed by a forehand to clinch it.
The 12th-seeded Raducanu failed to convert on five break-point chances at 1-1 in the third set as Sasnovich recorded her 16th career victory over a top-20 player.
Raducanu, who also lost to Sasnovich at Indian Wells last year in the Briton's first match after winning the title at Flushing Meadows, had 17 winners and 33 unforced errors on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Sasnovich advanced to the third round at Roland Garros for the first time. This is her seventh appearance.
In other matches:
- Fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari has lost in the second round a year after reaching the semifinals. Sakkari was defeated by Czech player Karolina Muchova 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), meaning two of the top four women's seeds already have been eliminated.
- Two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reached the third round by beating Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 7-6 (3).
- Egyptian Mayar Sherif pulled out of the French Open on Wednesday with a foot fracture, a day after she became the first woman from her country to win a main draw match at Roland Garros.
Czech player Marie Bouzkova has withdrawn from the French Open before her second-round match because she says she tested positive for COVID-19. She is the first singles player to pull out of Roland Garros because of the coronavirus.
With files from The Associated Press and Reuters