French Open: Djokovic, Thiem, Zverev advance to third round
Novak Djokovic continued the pattern of top seeds reaching the third round when he defeated Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland 6/1; 6/4; 6/3. Austria’s Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Slanislalovich Bublik of Kazakhstan while Alexander Zverev of Germany dispatched Mikael Ymer of Sweden.
The world number one had a quick day on court as he took the first set 6/1 from his opponent who had emerged as a lucky loser from the qualifying matches. However, Djokovic encountered stiffer resistance in the second set in which Laaksonen raised his service delivery and registered many aces.
Djokovic secured an early break in the third set and held on to win 6/3. The 27-year old Laaksonen has a dual Finnish-Swiss nationality.
Dominic Thiem, the fourth seed, had a real battle with hard-serving Bublik, ranked 90 in the world. Thiem took the first set 6/3 but Bublik held on tightly to his serve to force a tie breaker that he took by the close score of 8 points to 6. Although Thiem broke Bublik’s serve once to take the third set at 6/3, it was a seesaw in the fourth. With his barrage of 16 aces for the match, Bublik stretched Thiem all the way until he lost his serve the eleventh game.
Thiem served for the match and clinched it with a perfect drop shot. The credit for victory was Thiem’s defence against the serve of Bublik who had hammered 30 aces in his first round match against Germany’s Rudolf Molleker. Thiem earned 5 service breaks from taking 49 points on service return. Bublik won 38 points in receiving Thiem’s serve.
The fifth seed Alexander Zverev defeated Mikael Ymer, the 20-year old Ethiopian-Swede, 6/1; 6/3; 6/3. Zverev improved on his service delivery in the previous round, as he delivered 12 aces with only 3 double faults in the match with Ymer. Also he broke Mikael’s serve five times while winning seventy-three percent of points on his first serves. Mikael had won his first Grand Slam match when he defeated fellow qualifier Blaz Rola of Slovenia 6/0; 6/3; 7/6 (5) in the frist round.