Shapovalov falls in straight sets to Alcaraz in 3rd round of French Open

Playing on his preferred surface, world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz proved to be too much for Canada's Denis Shapovalov at the French Open. Alcaraz cruised to a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over the 26th-seeded Canadian, whose occasional flashes of brilliance were undone by unforced errors.

Djokovic battles through boos for lengthy straight-sets win over Davidovich Fokina

A male tennis player stretches his left arm out across his body in an attempt to hit a backhand shot.
Canada's Denis Shapovalov plays a shot against Spain's Carlos Alcaraz during the third round of the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris on Friday. (Christophe Ena/The Associated Press)

Carlos Alcaraz was simply too much for Denis Shapovalov at the French Open.

The world No. 1 cruised to a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over the 26th-seeded Canadian, whose occasional flashes of brilliance Friday were undone by a string of unforced errors.

A hard-fought second set was bookended by a pair of Alcaraz romps in a match that wrapped up in two hours 10 minutes.

Alcaraz, who will face Italy's Lorenzo Musetti in the fourth round, set the tone early on his preferred clay-court surface when he broke Shapovalov's first service game.

Playing in the third round at Roland Garros for the first time in his career, the Canadian showed some fight in avoiding the bagel by coming back from double match point in the sixth game. But Alcaraz put it away on his third set point to take an early advantage.

WATCH | Alcaraz eliminates Shapovalov in 3rd round:

Canada's Shapovalov dropped at French Open by Carlos Alcaraz

4 months ago
Duration 1:07
After a brief comeback attempt in the second set, Shapovalov couldn't pull it off against the world number one.

To Shapovalov's credit, he showed he could hang with the tournament's top seed in the second set.

At least for a while.

Shapovalov opened with a hard-fought hold that took almost seven minutes to complete.

The former world No. 10 from Richmond Hill, Ont., worked even harder for his first break of the match to go up 2-0 in another marathon game. Alcaraz fought off triple break point, then another break after forcing deuce, before Shapovalov finally prevailed in a game that lasted just shy of nine minutes.

That work was quickly undone when Shapovalov committed three double-faults in Alcaraz's third break of the match to cut the lead to 2-1.

Undaunted, Shapovalov got the break back with a powerful forehand to go up 3-1. This time he was able to consolidate the break.

There's little margin for error against a player of Alcaraz's ability, however. And perhaps fatigued by the effort to get back into the match, Shapovalov let his opponent off the hook.

Alcaraz broke again in the seventh game to cut Shapovalov's second-set lead to 4-3, then broke for a 5-4 advantage in another game that saw Shapovalov hit in to multiple double-faults.

Alcaraz then served to love to run his winning streak to five games and take Set 2.

Shapovalov's struggles continued to start the third set. He gave Alcaraz another break point with his eighth double-fault, then converted it for the Spaniard with his ninth.

Alcaraz went up two breaks in the set when he broke to love for a 4-1 lead and cruised the rest of the way. The Spaniard won on his second match point when Shapovalov hit the ball into the net.

Fernandez, Dabrowski set for doubles showdown

Meanwhile, Canadians Gabriela Dabrowski and Leylah Fernandez are headed for a third-round showdown in women's doubles.

Ottawa's Dabrowski and Brazilian partner Luisa Stefani, the eighth-seeded team at Roland Garros, advanced with a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over Hungary's Dalma Galfi and Katarzyna Piter.

Serving was the difference, with Dabrowski and Stefani committing one double-fault compared to 15 for Galfi and Piter, who landed just 49 per cent of their first serves.

Fernandez, from Laval, Que., and American partner Taylor Townsend, seeded 10th, converted five of eight break points in a lopsided 6-2, 6-1 win over Taiwan's Fang-Hsien Wu and Estonia's Ingrid Neel.

Fernandez and Townsend have found success since starting their partnership in March, advancing to the final of the Miami Open and the semifinals of the Madrid Open, both WTA 1000 events.

Dabrowski and Stefani have reached three quarterfinals this season, including two WTA 1000 events.

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., the last Canadian remaining in singles competition, faces Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko in women's third-round action Saturday.

WATCH | Andreescu downs Navarro to reach 3rd round:

Bianca Andreescu advances to round 3 of the French Open in straight sets

4 months ago
Duration 2:16
Bianca Andreescu had a dominant performance against American debutante Emma Navarro (6-1, 6-4) to secure a spot in the third round of the French Open. Andreescu will advance to the third round, for the first time in her career and face Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko on Saturday.

Djokovic wins marathon match

Spectators got on Novak Djokovic's case, but the Serb simply used them as motivation during a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory over 29th-seeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round.

It was the longest three-set Grand Slam match of the 22-time major champion Djokovic's long and distinguished career, clocking in at three hours, 36 minutes. He wasn't thrilled at how difficult things had been in the match, didn't love double-faulting three times in a single game, and really didn't like the feedback coming from a portion of the fans.

"A majority of the people comes to enjoy tennis or support one or the other player. But they are individuals. There are people — there are groups or whatever — that love to boo every single thing you do. That's something that I find disrespectful and I frankly don't understand that," Djokovic said later at his news conference. "But it's their right. They paid the ticket. They can do whatever they want."

After being two points from dropping the second set, trailing 5-4 in that tiebreaker, Djokovic grabbed control. He took the next three points, each of which ended with an error by Davidovich Fokina, then, the set his, Djokovic took a couple of steps toward the sideline, before reacting by punching the air, spinning around, throwing an uppercut, holding his right fist aloft and roaring.

That drew some unfriendly noise from some in the crowd. More displeasure with him was expressed a moment later, when the chair umpire announced that Djokovic was taking a medical timeout while a trainer massaged his upper left leg.

Sitting in his chair with his shirt off and a white towel around his shoulders, Djokovic heard the negativity and responded with gestures. He waved a hand, as if to say, "Give me more!" He gave a sarcastic thumbs-up and nodded. He applauded. He shook his head and chuckled.

"At times, you know, I will stay quiet. Not `at times' — actually, 99 per cent of the time, I will stay quiet," said Djokovic, who won the French Open in 2016 and 2021 and, in addition to seeking a 23rd major championship to break his tie with Rafael Nadal, can become the first man with at least three trophies at each Slam site.

"Sometimes I will oppose that, because I feel when somebody is disrespectful, he or she deserves to have an answer to that. That's what it is all about."

Djokovic will next face Juan Pablo Varillas, a 27-year-old from Peru who is ranked 94th and had never won a Grand Slam match until this week.

A tennis player pumps his fist in the air in celebration.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates during his three-set victory over Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round of the French Open on Friday. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Tsitsipas, Sabalenka among other winners

In addition to the No. 3 Djokovic, other seeded men advancing included No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, the runner-up to Djokovic in Paris two years ago and at the Australian Open this year, No. 11 Karen Khachanov and Musetti, who eliminated No. 14 Cam Norrie. Lorenzo Sonego defeated No. 7 Andrey Rublev, while Varillas took out No. 13 Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-2 in Friday night's last contest.

No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka and No. 9 Daria Kasatkina moved into the women's fourth round, along with Sloane Stephens, Elina Svitolina and 2021 runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, but No. 3 Jessica Pegula was sent packing.

Pegula quickly gathered her belongings and marched out of the main stadium after a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Elise Mertens, a far earlier exit than the American has been used to at Grand Slam tournaments lately.

Two tennis players shake hands at the end of a match
Elise Mertens of Belgium, left, shakes hands with Jessica Pegula of the United States after their match at the 2023 French Open at Roland Garros on Friday in Paris. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Pegula was a quarterfinalist at four of the five most recent majors, including a year ago at Roland Garros.

She's never gone further than that stage at a Slam and never really got into this match against the 28th-seeded Mertens on a day with a breeze at about 15 kph and chilly conditions.

"I feel like I was still playing good points. Elise was just being really tough, not making a lot of errors and making me play every single ball," said Pegula, whose parents own the NFL's Buffalo Bills and NHL's Buffalo Sabres. "And with the windy conditions, I felt like it definitely played into her game."

With Pegula joining No. 5 Caroline Garcia, No. 8 Maria Sakkari and No. 10 Petra Kvitova on the sideline, four of the top 10 women's seeds already are gone. That's part of a pattern this year at Roland Garros: Only 12 seeds made it through two rounds, the fewest in Paris since the field expanded to 32 seeds in 2002.

With files from The Associated Press

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