ADVANCE TO THIRD ROUND IN PARIS
Ashley Marshall | May 30, 2018
US Open finalists Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys headlined the American winners on Day 4 at the French Open, but they were far from the only ones making noise in Paris.
While No. 10 seed Stephens and 13th-seeded Keys each advanced to the third round in the French capital, Wednesday will also be remembered as a day of close calls and what-ifs for two rising Americans in particular.
Stephens defeated world No. 136 Magdalena Frech of Poland, 6-2, 6-2, to set up a third-round match against Camila Giorgi of Italy, while Keys beat fellow American and qualifier Caroline Dolehide, 6-4, 6-1, to book her place in the Round of 32 against No. 21 seed Naomi Osaka of Japan.
For Stephens, she's into the third round for the sixth time in seven years, and she now has more Grand Slam women's singles match wins in Paris than at any other major. ADVERTISEMENT For Keys, Wednesday's win moves her into the third round at Roland Garros for the third time in her career.
But while those straight-set wins went much the way the rankings suggested they might, the same can’t be said for two of the title favorites.
Twenty-one-year-old Rhode Island native Jared Donaldson pushed No. 4 seed Grigor Dimitrov to the limit in a thrilling 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 defeat on Court 18, and 27-year-old Pittsburgh native Alison Riske gave world No. 1 Simona Halep an early scare before the top seed eventually steadied the ship on her way to a 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over on Philippe-Chatrier Court.
Entering the French Open, Donaldson had never won a match that went to a fifth set. But after beating Nicolas Jarry in five sets in the first round on Sunday, he nearly replicated the feat against one of the pre-tournament favorites.
Dimitrov was forced to serve to stay in the match three separate times in the fifth set before eventually outlasting the young American, who appeared to be cramping in his left thigh and at one point resorted to an underhand serve late in the match when he was unable to push off his front leg.
And while the drama did not reach those levels in Riske’s first-round match to begin the day, the implication of what was unfolding early was no less stark, with Halep one set away from becoming the second-ever No. 1 seed to lose in the first round in Paris.
Halep has had an eventful 18 months, reaching the final of the 2017 French Open and the 2018 Australian Open while also losing in the first round in both Melbourne and New York in 2017. This time, however, history did not repeat itself. Riske came out of the gates the quickest in her first-ever match against a current world No. 1, but the Romanian regrouped to reel off 12 of the final 14 games and advance to the Round of 64.
Elsewhere on Day 4, American No. 12 seed Sam Querrey fell to Gilles Simon, 1-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-1, in second-round play, and Jennifer Brady lost to Yulia Putintseva, 6-4, 6-3.
The first round of the men’s and women’s doubles also continued, with the all-American duos of Serena and Venus Williams beating No. 14 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, and Jack Sock and Steve Johnson defeating Nicholas Monroe and John-Patrick Smith, 7-6, 6-4.
Thursday’s schedule of play sees Serena back in second-round action against No. 17 seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia; No. 15 Coco Vandeweghe against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine; Taylor Townsend against Halep; Bethanie Mattek-Sands against Andrea Petkovic of Germany; and Bernarda Pera against No. 24 Daria Gavrilova of Australia.
On the men’s side, No. 9 seed John Isner faces Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, and Johnson plays Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.