Djokovic, Nadal, Alcaraz hunt spot in last 16 of French Open

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in the men's singles match on the second day of the Roland-Garos Open Tennis Tournament on May 23, 2022 at the Court Philippe-Chatriar in Paris.  (Photo by Thomas Samson / AFP)

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the men’s singles match on the second day of the Roland-Garos Open Tennis Tournament on May 23, 2022 at the Court Philippe-Chatriar in Paris. (Photo by Thomas Samson / AFP)

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal aim to take another step towards a blockbuster quarter-final clash at the French Open on Friday, with Carlos Alcaraz aiming for a place in the last 16 after surviving a match point in the previous round.

World number one and defending champion Djokovic has eased through the first two rounds of his first Grand Slam after losing in the final of last year’s US Open. He will next play Slovenian Aljaz Beden.

“I’m delighted to be playing the way I did in the first two rounds,” said Djokovic, chasing the record-breaking 21st Major after his high-profile exile before the Australian Open in January.

“Everything is going in the right direction. I look forward to the next challenge. “

Roland have reached the last eight or better in each of the last 12 tours at Garros Garros and are responsible for two of Nadal’s only three defeats on the ground in Paris.

Nadal continues his push to win the 14th French Open in 2021 against Flushing Meadows quarter-finalist Dutchman Botic van de Jendschalp.

The Spaniards won their 300th Grand Slam by defeating French wildcard Corinthian Moutet in a straight set in two rounds. At Roland Garros he is 107-3.

“Preparations weren’t perfect, so I didn’t expect a perfect start to the tournament. But I was fine, “said Nadal.

He started the year with a 20-match winning run, including his win in Melbourne, but has missed out on a title this season after missing out on time due to a rib injury and then suffering from foot problems.

“I can’t try to get too deep into the tournament if I’m worried about my physical problems every day,” Nadal said.

“So if something happens it happens and I’m going to accept it, but at the moment I’m concentrating on tennis.”

Alkaraj, Zverev get a second chance

After saving a match point in a thrilling five-setter against native Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Spanish teen star Alcaraz went against Sebastian Corda, the only player to have beaten him on the ground this season.

“I believe in myself, and of course I work hard every day,” said the 19-year-old.

“You have to have a good goal, a good dream. Definitely try to follow your dreams. Work hard every day. I think that’s the secret.

“I am still young, but I would say a very experienced player now. I feel comfortable playing in big stadiums, big matches, grand slams. As I said, physically I am strong. I am also mentally strong. ”

Third-seeded and 2021 semifinalist Alexander Zverev was also looking forward to a second-round defeat against Sebastian Beaz, fighting two sets down to save a match point in the 4-5 survey.

German Olympic champion Brandon Nakashima of the United States has been spotted enjoying the best Grand Slam run of his Roland Garros debut.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Karbar plays Alexandra Sasnovich, who dropped out of US Open champion Emma Radukanu.

Carolina Muchova, winner of Greek fourth seed Maria Sakkari, another former semifinalist from Paris, is battling 26th seed Amanda Anisimova of the United States.

Switzerland’s Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bensic plays with last year’s US Open runner-up Lelah Fernandez, while 18-year-old Coco Gaff met Kaya Kanepi, who will turn 37 next month, and the oldest woman in the tournament.

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