Sunday, June 16, 2024

French Open: Nadal loses to Zverev in probable last match at tournament – day two as it happened

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Tsitsipas wins both his next two service points – he had to really – to cut the gap to 3-2. But he looks rather out of whack here, mistiming another return attempt as they swap ends at 4-2 Fucsovics.

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And a tie-break it is, Tsitsipas serving first. The Greek is 7-3 in tie-breaks this year, with Fucsovics 3-3. The opening point is replayed after a debate before Tsitsipas puts a straightforward volley long. A rasping forehand winner from Fucsovics and it’s 2-0 before yet another poor groundstroke from Tsitsipas extends that to 3-0. The ninth seed is in trouble here.

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And it continues to go with serve on Lenglen as Tsitsipas nudges ahead once more at 6-5. Fucsovics’ impressive first-serve percentage and Tsitsipas’s iffy returning suggest a tie-break is by far the most likely outcome here. Cheers on Chatrier as Jeanjean breaks Swiatek in the opening game of the second set.

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Average, let’s say poor, returning from Tsitsipas gifts Fucsovics a 40-0 lead. A ludicrously wide double fault cuts that to 40-30 but another misfire from Tsitsipas means we’re at 5-5. On Chatrier, Swiatek has swept through the opening set against Jeanjean in 29 minutes, dropping just one game.

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A break point for Fucsovics in game nine as Tsitsipas goes wide with a forehand. But two big first serves under pressure swing momentum back to Tsitsipas and he clubs a trio of forehands to force the error, hold and go 5-4 ahead. Just across the way, Swiatek is 5-1 up with Jeanjean serving.

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Tsitsipas isn’t making much headway on the Fucsovics serve and the stats show why. The Hungarian has nailed 20 of 24 first serves, winning 80% of those points as a result. It’s 4-4 and this opening set remains in the balance. Over on Chatrier, Swiatek has eased to a 4-1 first-set lead against French qualifier Jeanjean. Games are now resuming or starting on the outside courts.

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After levelling at 3-3, Fucsovics goes 15-0 love on the Tsitsipas serve to hint at a break. But the Greek ninth seed mixes finesse and power to reel off the next four points, reaching 40-15 with a drop shot and sealing a 4-3 lead courtesy of a drilled backhand winner down the line.

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Plenty of yellow on show on the two main courts today. Tsitsipas has a sort of Belgian-esque yellow and black outfit going on and gives it a brush as he sits down after moving back ahead 3-2 against Fucsovics. On Chatrier, Jeanjean (or should it be jaunejaune) is all in yellow. She’s won her first game and trails top seed Swiatek 2-1 in the opener.

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Thanks Daniel. The covers are coming off although they’ve decided to keep the roof closed on Lenglet. Fucsovics belies his reputation as not great at the net with a superb drop volley to hold to love and level at 2-2 against Tsitsipas.

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Righto, I’m off for a little break; here’s Dave Tindall to chill with you through the next hour.

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Tsitsipas starts well, holding then arranging a break point with a punishing forehand down the line; what a shot that is, and in comms, they wonder if, on clay, it’s the best shot in the men’s game. Its a shame about thew backhand really – in one of the Eurosport inserts, he was asked about how it’d be if it wasn’t a one-hander, and he replied he’s not be Stefanos Tsitspias … while, in the meantime, it costs him matches and titles. Anyroad, Fucsovics fights back to hold for 1-1, while Swiatek breaks Jeanjean at the first time of asking for 1-0.

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Cheering on Court 14 as the covers come off; the clay is raked and we should be good to go again shortly while, on Chatrier, Swiatek and Jeanjean are hitting.

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Righto, Fucsovics and and Tsitsipas are away…

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Fucsovics and Tsitsipas are knocking up on Lenglen.

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Next on Chatrier: Iga Swiatek (1) v Leolia Jeanjean (Q).

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Jabeur notes that conditions were slow but she’s taking it match by match and hopes that the people will be with her until the final. Otherwise, a question from Amelie Mauresmo, the tournament organiser: how does she get the crowd to love her? She’s always thinking about smiling, she says, trying to bring joy on and off the court, and she hopes her good relationship with the public continues.

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Ons Jabeur (8) beats Sachia Vickery 6-3 6-2

That wasn’t straightforward but Jabeur, who’s been in miserable form, will be much happier for it and meets Kalinina or Osorio next.

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur plays plays a forehand return to USA’s Sachia Vickery. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
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Jabeur nails Vickery with yet another drop from and at 6-2 5-2 0-15, she has match point.

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Back on Chatrier, Vickery has forced Jabeur to serve for the match at 6-3 5-2.

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Next on Lenglen: Márton Fucsovics v Stefanos Tsitsipas (9).

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Sinner is just happy to be back playing and his hip is good now. He and his team have worked really hard and though he’s not yet at 100%, they try to get better every day and he’s very happy to have the roof closed for the first time. Otherwise, he’s happy with what he’s achieved in the last few months but his goal is to improve every day, he knows he has things to improve, and his team push him to improve every day.

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Jannik Sinner (3) beats Christopher Eubanks 6-3 6-3 6-4

That’s a great win for the Aussie Open champ, who’ll be fitter and feel fitter for that first match back after injury. His ability to find big first serves when he most needs them and play the big points really well evidences a young man at one with himself and his game;
bonne chance Richard Gasquet, who has to play him next.

Italy’s Jannik Sinner shakes hands with Christopher Eubanks of the U.S. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters
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An overhead gives Sinner 15-0 but Eubanks then hooks a superb forehand winner cross-court and makes 15-30 immediately afterwards … then a double follows! Whoever you are, finishing off a match is a nervy, but again, Sinner’s first serve gets him out of trouble and this is something that distinguishes the best from the excellent: timing. And, shonuff, the Italian relaxes into the next point, whamming forehands to make deuce; I’m certain he’ll finish it from here.

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Rain latest: no play before 1pm BST. But it is much brighter now.

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It’s a bit brighter now, and I think the rain might’ve stopped … but not in Sachia Vickery’s heart. She’s been broken a second time in set two and, though she’s given Jabeur plenty, resounding defeat looks to be in her immediate future … and, as I type, she’s nailed with an expert’s drop which sticks in the clay and dies. And, though she makes her opponent fight through deuce, she eventually holds for 6-3 4-0 while, on Lenglen, Eubank is match-point down … but punishes a colossal forehand winner to make deuce before closing out. He’s made Sinner serve for it.

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Eubanks is running out of road here, able to make an impression on the Sinner serve without actually taking it. Down 3-6 3-6 3-4, he gets to 30-all, then a pair of overheads, followed by a big serve and a further overhead, mean the number three seed is just a game away from round two

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It’s pretty grim in Paris today and we’ve just received word that play won’t resume on uncovered courts before 12.30 BST, problem being it’s still raining à ce moment.

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Jabeur is playing nicely now, breaking the game Vickery for 6-3 1-0 and consolidating in short order. She’s nearly in round two and, given how ropey her form has been lately, will be feeling pretty decent.

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Sinner has that champion’s aura now, able to quickly disappear matches without over-extending, and he breaks early in set three to lead 6-3 6-3 3-1. If his hip is in nick, he’s a serious threat to win here.

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On Chatrier, Jabeur is serving for the set at 5-3, and when she sends Vickery wide, the cross-court response drops beyond the sideline. So that’s the first set, and Ons will be better for what turned out to be a stiffer test than we might’ve anticipated.

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