French Open 2021: Nadal beats Norrie, Krejcikova shocks Svitolina – as it happened

Last modified: 04: 30 PM GMT+0

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal eased to straight-sets wins while Barbora Krejcikova shocked fifth seed Elina Svitolina and Iga Swiatek marched on

That was all she wrote for today’s French Open live blog, and it was a suitably top-class affair, starting with Sloane Stephens’ accomplished victory against Karolina Muchova, in which both players struck the ball beautifully. Stephens was too good, as was the champion Iga Swiatek for Anett Kontaveit, even though Kontaveit came out firing on all cylinders and had the Pole in plenty of bother early on. The shock of the day was Barbora Krejcikova’s win against Elina Svitolina, the fifth seed.

In the men’s singles, the very talented 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti came through a five-setter against his Italian compatriot Marco Cecchinato to book a place in the last 16 of his first grand slam event. Novak Djokovic overwhelmed Ricardas Berankis in straight sets after Diego Schwartzman of Argentina did the same to the German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber. Rafael Nadal, of course, has just dispatched the British No 2 Cameron Norrie in straight sets.

Sakkari and Mertens have gone into a decider over on Court Simonne Mathieu, while Coco Gauff is just starting against Jennifer Brady on Court Suzanne Lenglen, but that’s all we’ve got time for on the blog today. Later this evening, of course, a certain Roger Federer is in action against the German, Dominik Koepfer.

Thanks for reading today, and see you soon for more, as Roland Garros moves into its second week. Bye for now.


Nadal conducts an interview on Court Suzanne Lenglen: “It’s a pleasure for me to be back playing at Roland Garros, it doesn’t matter which court it is, it’s fantastic for me.

“He [Norrie] is having the best season of his career, winning plenty of matches ... he’s won a lot of matches this year ... but I found a way to be through, that’s the most important thing for me ... I was able to win in straight sets, and that’s so important for me.

“The last year and a half have been difficult for every player ... it’s because of my friends and family that I where I am today ... it’s so important that we’ve got the fans back, and hopefully the situation will keep improving.”

That’s the 16th time Nadal has gone into the round of 16, which is as symmetrical as his 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 winning scoreline today.


Rafael Nadal beats Cameron Norrie: 6-3, 6-3, 6-3!

Norrie fought, and fought hard, but Nadal isn’t bad on clay, is he? The Spaniard eases into the last 16 as his title defence rolls on into the second week. The champion will take on Jannick Sinner in the next round.

Rafael Nadal plays a forehand during his win over Cameron Norrie.
Rafael Nadal plays a forehand during his win over Cameron Norrie. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


Norrie digs out a sublime angled winner after another power-packed baseline rally between the two men. Next up, he sends one fractionally long, and it’s a second match point for Nadal. And he converts!

An email arrives from Sayyam Zahid:

“I live in Karachi Pakistan and I follow your website these days thanks.”

It’s a pleasure, Sayyam! Thanks for getting in touch - glad you’re enjoying the coverage.

Norrie is raging against the dying of the light, and constructs a stunning point to go 0-15 ahead on Nadal’s serve.

Norrie holds for 5-3! Nadal will serve for the match now, and his 32nd straight set win at Roland Garros.

Match point for Nadal, the defending champ, against Norrie. He misjudges a double-handed backhand which clips the top of the net and flies out. It’s deuce.


Swiatek’s moment of victory:

Weathered the storm ⛈☀️😁

Defending champ @iga_swiatek tallies her 20th straight set won at #RolandGarros en route to securing a 7-6(4), 6-0 win over No.30 seed Kontaveit. The 20-year-old faces Kostyuk in R4.

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 5, 2021

Ons Jabeur is through! She’s beaten Magda Linette of Poland, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1.

It's not how you start...

No.25 seed @Ons_Jabeur overcomes Magda Linette 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 to secure a spot in R4 for the second straight year. #RolandGarros

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 5, 2021

Nadal takes the game and it’s 5-2. Norrie is giving everything here and is competing admirably, but Nadal just has too much.

Nadal v Norrie now stands at 4-2 to the Spaniard in the third. Norrie has forced a glimmer of a chance with 30-30 on Nadal’s serve: he takes full control of a point to try and force a chance for a break, but Nadal converts defence into attack with phenomenal determination and ability. He runs down a volley from Norrie and crunches a winner past his opponent.

Maria Sakkari took the first set against Elise Mertens, 7-5. Mertens is now 4-3 and a break up in the second on Court Simonne Mathieu.


Nadal is now up 4-1 in the third against Norrie, and speeding towards the finish line.

Swiatek speaks: “She was playing really really fast from the beginning, she was dominating, I guess I had a ‘late’ start today. But I’m really happy, I had 0-2 against her [so far in her career], and I sort of broke that, so yeah, I’m really happy about that.

“I’m really happy that I’m playing consistently, I’m trying to approach every game the same way, like I did last tear ... many players struggle when they come back after winning a Grand Slam - so I’m really happy that I’m able to handle it.”

Asked how and why she always seems so relaxed and happy, Swiatek adds: “I guess I’m a good actress: everybody’s under pressure. I’m travelling with my sports psychologist and she helps me with that. I always thought the mental part of the game is really important, and I guess I’m ready for this kind of pressure.”

Impressive all-round from the reigning champion.


Iga Swiatek beats Anett Kontaveit: 7-6 (4), 6-0!

Imperious stuff from the women’s singles champion who was asked some tough questions by the Estonian and came up with all the answers. Kontaveit hit winner after winner in the first set - 31 in total in the match - but Swiatek steadied the ship and dominated the second set. She seems to have an ideal all-round game for Roland Garros, with powerful groundstrokes and incredible speed around the court. Swiatek will face Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine in the next round.


A superb angled backhand helps to set up match point for Swiatek.

Nadal leads Norrie 2-1 in the third.

Kontaveit flops a forehand into the net, then sends another wide to gift another break to Swiatek. It’s 5-0. Swiatek will serve for the match. There was one particularly punishing second-serve return winner by Swiatek in that last game, which perhaps took a psychological toll on the Estonian. Swiatek jogs out on to court after a drink of water, and urges herself onwards: “Come on!” She is one game away.


In the men’s singles earlier: Italy’s Jannik Sinner saw off Mikael Ymer of Sweden in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5, 6-3.


Swiatek moves 4-0 to the good and is now, apparently, cruising into the last 16. It’s been imperious stuff from the champion following that early barrage by Kontaveit.


Swiatek’s speed around the court is clearly superior to Kontaveit’s, but the Estonian’s impressive shot-making has been a huge factor in making this such an engaging match.

Two break points for Swiatek ...

Kontaveit double-faults and it’s 3-0 to the reigning Roland Garros champion from Poland. Kontaveit’s facial expression, courtesy of a trademark slow-motion replay from the TV director, says it all.


Nadal produces a jaw-dropping pass to seal the second set against Norrie. He’s been tested here, there is no doubt about that, but he’s negotiating his way through it and is looking well set to march into the last 16.

Kontaveit grabs a break point but wastes it with an attempted winner that’s just wide. Back to deuce. Swiatek finds a way - and moves 2-0 ahead in this second set. Such mental toughness in the face of an excellent display by Kontaveit.


Nadal goes to 5-3, now verging on the second set and a commanding position against the British No 2.

Kontaveit, meanwhile, drills another fantastic clean winner crosscourt, returning a Swiatek serve with interest. The two players have 42 winners between them which shows how commited they have both been to attacking.


Swiatek whips a powerful backhand crosscourt to earn a break point. Next up, she’s all over Kontaveit’s second serve, and claims the point and the game, a potentially crucial early break of serve. Kontaveit knew that Swiatek would be a different proposition today - and that’s the way it’s turning out.


Nadal now has another break point against Norrie ... and he gets it! Norrie directs a shot over narrowly over the baseline and it’s 4-3 Nadal in the second set. Nadal won the first set 6-3.

Sakkari and Mertens move to 5-5, both with a break, in their first set.

Sensational stuff from Swiatek, who takes the first set, 7-6 (7-4). Kontaveit had her on the ropes there but the 20-year-old battled her way back into the match. Swiatek has won 88% of points on her first serve. There were 23 winners for Kontaveit, to 13 for Swiatek!

Iga Swiatek plays a backhand to Anett Kontaveit.
Iga Swiatek plays a backhand to Anett Kontaveit. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA


Nadal, meanwhile, holds serve for 3-3 in the second.

It’s 6-3 in the tie-breaker and three set points for Swiatek. Kontaveit saves the first.


Swiatek winds up three destructive backhands consecutively and simply bullies Kontaveit out of the point on the Estonian’s serve. She leads by two points in the tie-breaker, 4-2.

She tries a forehand to the corner, and it’s just wide, but she will serve still a mini-break up.


Sakkari (17th seed) and Mertens (14th seed) are 4-4 in their first set on Court Simonne Mathieu.

Nadal breaks - that is four in a row - and it’s 3-2 to Norrie. This is some match.


Kontaveit and Swiatek are into a tie-breaker for the first set.

Nadal now has 0-40 on Norrie’s serve in this break-fest of a second set.

Kontaveit and Swiatek at deuce, with the Estonian serving to stay in the first set.

Nadal breaks back for 2-1 in the second set against Norrie ... but the Briton earns a break point in the next game ... and WOW! He takes on a big, big forehand winner down the line, on the run, and breaks straight back, for the third break in a row! Norrie leads 3-1, second set. That would have to be the best shot I’ve seen at this tournament.


Swiatek holds for 5-6. Kontaveit must again serve to stay in the set. This is another superb match, with neither player taking a backward step, both players taking their shots on and hitting with maximum commitment.


Swiatek is finding her feet - she climbs into a huge forehand, which is just far too hot for Kontaveit to hope to get back, although she does her best and finds the net. Swiatek aces next, only for her Estonian opponent to absolutely crush the next return of serve, crosscourt, for an emphatic statement of intent and to take it to deuce.


Nadal’s won 30 straight sets in Paris. Madness.

3️⃣0️⃣ straight sets and counting at RG...

Nadal hits the milestone, taking the opener 6-3.#RolandGarros

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 5, 2021

Kontaveit holds comfortably for 5-5 against Swiatek on Court Philippe-Chatrier.


Fantastic from Norrie, who breaks Nadal to lead 2-0. He sends a forehand wide and Nadal can only direct his shot into the net.

Chance for Norrie, meanwhile, at deuce on Nadal’s serve ... and he gets a break point!

Swiatek has roared back into this first set. Kontaveit must summon the memories of the two times she’s already beaten her Polish opponent - although both those occasions were before Swiatek stepped up to the top level with victory here in Paris last year.

Swiatek clips a stunning, curling pass down the line for 30-0 on her serve, 4-4 in the first. She follows that up by whipping a forehand crosscourt for 40-0, and closes out the love hold for 5-4 - Kontaveit must serve to stay in the first set.


Norrie is on the board first in the second set against the 13-times champion Nadal.

Swiatek has now won two break points against Kontaveit, but she overhits a backhand, and it’s 30-40 and 4-3 to the Estonian.

Big point coming up ... and Swiatek breaks back! It’s 4-4. The champion is back in business.


Kontaveit is now 4-2 to the good against Swiatek.

Nadal, meanwhile, produces another comfortable hold and he takes the first set 6-3 in 36 minutes.

A love hold for Norrie, rounded off with a very smart drop shot which plonks over the net perfectly. The crowd applauds appreciatively. It’s 5-3 and the British No 2 is in this match.


Nadal is moving through the gears now. He holds serve with ease, rasping a forehand winner down the line, with Norrie in a different postcode over on the other side of the court. It’s 5-2.


Nadal has Norrie under pressure at 15-40 on the Briton’s serve. Nadal sends a forehand wide, but Norrie still has a break point to save. He butchers a forehand into the net, and Nadal leads 4-2 in the first.

Kontaveit holds her first service game, and creates a 2-0 lead against Swiatek.

It’s 3-2 for Nadal now in the first against Norrie.


Norrie holds for 2-2 and is competing admirably well so far.

Cameron Norrie plays a return to Rafael Nadal.
Cameron Norrie plays a return to Rafael Nadal. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP


Kontaveit breaks the champion, Swiatek, in the first game of their third-round match on Court Philippe-Chatrier!


History is made by Djokovic:

Making [More] History 📚

With his 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 win over Berankis, @DjokerNole is headed to R4 here for the 12th consecutive year, a new Open Era record for longest streak of #RolandGarros R4 appearances.

Musetti next…

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 5, 2021

Nadal opens up the court with a massive forehand and then comes in to the net to put a volley away - coming millimetres from touching the net - but he’s just ok. The Spaniard earns two game points, and finishes it emphatically with a crisp forehand down the line. He leads 2-1, and it’s with serve in the first set.


An impressive opening service game from Norrie makes it 1-1 in the first set.


Swiatek and Kontaveit are warming up.

Top stuff from Norrie, living with Nadal blow-for blow in a 21-shot baseline rally, and winning it as Nadal fluffs a forehand long.


Norrie took it to 0-30 on the Nadal serve, but the Spaniard hits back to hold serve for 1-0 in the first set. The power of one Nadal forehand, in particular, had Norrie shaking his head in wonder just then. A taste of things to come, you suspect.


Nadal won the toss, and is serving in the first game of the match against Norrie.

Iga Swiatek, the women’s champion, is about to begin her match against Anett Kontaveit. They have played twice before, and Kontaveit has won twice, but Swiatek is a different proposition since winning at Roland Garros last year.

Thanks for holding the fort, Will.

Nadal, the 13-times champ, has just strolled on to court to face the British No 2, Cameron Norrie.

Novak Djokovic beats Ričardas Berankis 6-1, 6-4, 6-1

A relatively simple day out at Roland Garros for the Serbian.

Novak Djokovic plays a backhand during his victory over Ricardas Berankis.
Novak Djokovic plays a backhand during his victory over Ricardas Berankis. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images


Sofia Kenin beats Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-1, 6-4

The fourth seeds makes it through in the end. Plenty of the favourites have already left the tournament, so Kenin will be feeling pretty confident about her chances now.

Sofia Kenin celebrates winning a point during her victory over Jessica Pegula.
Sofia Kenin celebrates winning a point during her victory over Jessica Pegula. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP


Djokovic takes the first three games of the third set. I think we can safely say this one is over as a contest.

Kenin goes 4-2 up in the deciding set against Pegula after saving a break point.

Another man with a two-set lead is Novak Djokovic after he holds his serve to take the second. There was definitely more resistance from Berankis this time around but it was inevitable the Serb would win it.

After a second set battle with Carlos Alcaraz, Jan-Lennard Struff wins it on a tie-break to go 2-0. The Spanish teenager, despite being down, looks like a fine player in the making.

Berankis wins a service game to love but then Djokovic does the same to make it 5-3. Djokovic just a game away from taking the second set.

Djokovic breaks and is now 3-2 up. I doubt he will allow Berankis back into this set.

Another Djokovic hold and it’s 2-2.

Now, Will Unwin is here to guide you through the next little while, as I go to assess what’s in the fridge. See you soon.

In the women’s singles: Kenin (4) and Pegula (28), on Court Suzanne Lenglen, are now locked at one set all (6-4, 6-1) and playing a decider!

In the men’s singles, meanwhile, Ymer is battling back against Sinner on Court 14. Sinner took the first set 6-1, now Ymer leads 5-3 in the second.


Djokovic punishes himself for a sloppy error by repeatedly bashing the clay off one of his trainers with his racquet. Berankis now holds again, and this now does have the look of a competitive tennis match, rather than an exhibition laid on for the Serbian.

Djokovic hits the shot of the match so far, a sumptuous back-handed winner from outside the tramlines which arrows down the line and bounces in the corner. Berankis can only watch, and admire, as it flies past him. And it’s a comfortable hold for the Serb, now 1-1 in the second set.

Berankis leads 1-0, second set! That was a very tidy hold of serve by the 30-year-old. Djokovic still has the look of a man indulging in a relaxed Sunday morning hit-out at his local club, though.


Djokovic takes the first set, 6-1, coming to the net and cushioning a smart drop volley that Berankis does not have a hope of reaching. The 2016 Roland Garros men’s singles champion is in total control.


Berankis raises his level and fashions a couple of game points. Djokovic fires a powerful forehand winner for 40-30, but the Lithuanian volleys a winner on the next point, and he is on the board! It’s 5-1. Much better from Berankis, the world No 93.


Djokovic storms into a 5-0 first-set lead against the hapless Ricardas Berankis. Can the Lithuanian find a way to establish himself in this match? He’s serving to try and stay in the set.

This, in fact, is Musetti’s first Grand Slam. And he’s into the last 16. Great story, and clearly a very talented youngster:


In his first career Grand Slam, 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti is headed to R4 with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over fellow 🇮🇹Cecchinato. He gets the winner of Djokovic/Berankis next. #RolandGarros

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 5, 2021


Djokovic crafts a well-judged double-handed backhand winner down the line for 4-0. One-way traffic, and then some ...

Djokovic slices a crisp drop shot of his own now against the Lithuanian. Berankis can’t get it back. Break point for Djokovic to make it 4-0.

Berankis tries a drop shot. Djokovic runs it down ludicrously easily, and pats it back over the net at an angle, with Berankis just standing on the baseline, watching the action from a distance. That sums up how one-sided it’s been so far ...


Berankis winds up a big crosscourt winner during Djokovic’s next service game, but the Serb eventually holds comfortably enough, and creates a 3-0 lead in the first set. Regulation stuff so far.

Novak Djokovic serves to Ricardas Berankis.
Novak Djokovic serves to Ricardas Berankis. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters


Straight off the bat - or indeed the racquet - Djokovic breaks Berankis, and leads 2-0 in the first set.

The women’s champion, Iga Swiatek, is due on court at 3pm today for her match against Anett Kontaveit. Swiatek was in flying form against Rebecca Peterson in the second round, sweeping her opponent aside 6-1, 6-1, but has drawn attention to the fact that she’s already lost to Kontaveit twice, most recently at the Australian Open last year. You feel, however, that if Swiatek can maintain that level from the second round then she will progress.


Djokovic holds, and he is on the board against Berankis.

Cheeky from Musetti, very cheeky, in that match that just concluded:

𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁?! 👀

Outrageous stuff from Lorenzo Musetti 🤯#RolandGarros

— Live Tennis (@livetennis) June 5, 2021

Straight into Djokovic v Berankis now, which is just starting on Philippe-Chatrier.

Lorenzo Musetti beats Marco Cecchinato! 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6!

Musetti is into the last 16 of a grand slam for the first time! Well done, well done. In truth, that final set wasn’t exactly a classic, but what a battle over five sets.

Lorenzo Musetti celebrates after winning his five setter with Marco Cecchinato.
Lorenzo Musetti celebrates after winning his five setter with Marco Cecchinato. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


Three more match points for Musetti ...

Cecchinato holds - and saves three match points in the process! It is 5-3 now, and Lorenzo Musetti can have another bash at serving for the match.


Djokovic, who is yet to drop a set in the tournament so far, is about to walk out on to court for his match against Ricardas Berankis.


A beautifully sliced volley by Musetti, after he comes to the net, but Cecchinato manages to break and it’s 5-2 in the fifth.


Musetti goes 5-1 up against Cecchinato!

He will serve for the match, and a place in the last 16.


Jannik Sinner is 3-1 up on Mikael Ymer on Court 14 in their first set.

Now, over to Court 7, and this all-Italian five-set marathon between Cecchinato (ranked 83) and Musetti (ranked 76).

Musetti, the 19-year-old, has just gone 4-1 up in this final set, so is in a commanding position.


Krejcikova speaks: “I’m super happy ... I can’t really believe it. I’m so happy I was able to play my tennis, the game plan was working, I think most of my shots they’ve been actually amazing. This was, so far I think, my best match, I’m so happy that I’m here, that I’m enjoying the game, that I’m entertaining the crowd ... thank you so much for coming today. I’m just extremely happy.”

Regarding that 21-minute hold of serve in the first set, at 4-3, she adds: “Every game is important ... especially against Elina because she is such a great fighter, it’s so hard to play against her so I think every single point actually counts. That game was for sure very important, I made it to the 5-3 and I was able to break her and take the first set.”


Barbora Krejcikova beats Elina Svitolina: 6-3, 6-2!

Stunning! The world No 6 is out! What an accomplished performance that was by the Czech 25-year-old, who initially made her name as a doubles player. The world No 33 Krejcikova will face Sloane Stephens in the last 16.

Barbora Krejcikova stretches for a return during her win over Elina Svitolina
Barbora Krejcikova stretches for a return during her win over Elina Svitolina Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images


Two match points for Krejcikova!

Svitolina crunches a backhand winner down the line to fight back to 15-15 in this crucial service game. Krejcikova is totally unflustered, though, and finds a lovely forehand winner in the next point after battling to control a baseline rally.


Game point for Krejcikova to make it 5-2 vs Svitolina. And BOOM! She wins the game with a massive forehand after an indifferent forehand to the middle of the court by her opponent. Krejcikova is one game away from a resounding victory against the No 5 seed.


Svitolina battles back to hold serve and it’s 4-2.

The audio from Court 7 (Cecchinato v Musetti) is coming through on Eurosport’s coverage of Krejcikova v Svitolina, for some reason, but we’ll struggle on. We have the audio for the match on telly, too, so we’re doubling up.


Krejcikova earns two break points. There is an exchange of slow, looping, high-bouncing shots from the baseline, before Svitolina moves in for the kill and smashes a forehand winner.

And another forehand winner, and it’s deuce! Svitolina may be rattled by the form of her opponent but she’s battling on.


In the men’s: Cecchinato and Musetti are engaged in a five-set epic now: 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 0-0.

Krejcikova holds for 4-1. Can Svitolina find something - anything - to stop Krejcikova’s seemingly relentless progress towards the last 16?

Krejcikova just needs to hold serve and she’s through.


Another break for Barbora Krejcikova! It’s 3-1 and she is crushing the ball all over the court now - mixing it up with the odd drop shot - and Svitolina seems to have little answer.


Svitolina breaks back for 2-1! The Ukrainian isn’t going to go down without a fight.


Now, to Court Philippe-Chatrier, where a shock is brewing: Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic is 2-0 up against fifth seed Elina Svitolina in the second set, after winning the first set 6-3. The first set featured a 20-minute service game for Krejcikova which she eventually held. She has hit 30 winners so far.


Cédric Pioline, on post-match interview duty, tells the 10th seed Schwartzman that the crowd love him.

“It’s a very special place to me,” Schwartzman tells Pioline of his feelings for Roland Garros as the cheers ring out. “I’m very happy to be back, to play my best tennis again, and with a crowd. Last year was my best tournament here, but not many people could come [due to lockdown] and I’m very happy to play with a lot of people here this week.

“I was thinking to play every single point, as many shots I can ... he [Kohlschreiber] was not playing a lot of tournaments since last year ... so I was thinking to play a long match ... at the end, he was not running very well.

“Now we can have time to walk around Paris this afternoon. I’m very happy, because now I have two days [off] before the second week here in Paris. Everything is perfect right now.”

Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman celebrates beating Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets.
Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman celebrates beating Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets. Photograph: Benoît Tessier/Reuters


Diego Schwartzman beats Philip Kohlschreiber: 6-4, 6-2, 6-1!

The diminutive Argentinian smokes a forehand down the line, and seals an utterly dominant win against the 37-year-old German.


Schwartzman, the Argentinian, is 5-1 up in his third set against Kohlschreiber on Court Suzanne Lenglen. He angles a beautiful cushioned volley across court, and a point later, he has his first match point ... he sends the ball long, though, and it’s back to deuce on Kohlschreiber’s serve.


Sloane Stephens beats 18th seed Karolina Muchova: 6-3, 7-5!

That was a very, very entertaining two hours of tennis. Muchova sends a forehand long and Stephens is through with a top-drawer performance. Can the 2018 runner-up do something special this year? Stephens gives Muchova a smile as they shake hands - and then a big round of applause as the Czech leaves the court. A great spirit between the players - and a fine display of hitting from both of them.

A focused Sloane Stephens readies herself for a return during her straight sets win over Karolina Muchova.
A focused Sloane Stephens readies herself for a return during her straight sets win over Karolina Muchova. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images


Muchova hits a blinding forehand winner. Stephens answers straight back, and has two match points.

Stephens speeds to 30-0 and is two points away from the last 16 ...

Stephens breaks! 6-5 to the resurgent American now, and she can serve for the match.

Schwartzman is now 3-1 up against Kohlschreiber and seemingly easing to a straight-sets win. Stephens v Muchova is a much more interesting spectacle.


Lovely variation now from Stephens, who produces a drop shot of her own: Muchova sprints and gets it back, but Stephens clumps a confident volleyed winner back into the open court. She now has three break points!


Stephens holds for 5-5.

Krejcikova and Svitolina are playing a marathon first set - it’s 4-3 there at the moment, Krejcikova with the second break and serving for 5-3.


Whoah! Fantastic forehand winner down the line, on the slide, from Muchova and she creates a sniff of a chance at 40-30 on the Stephens serve. And now she takes it to deuce with another excellently-judged drop shot.


Another classy drop shot from Muchova early in this service game from Stephens. But Stephens moves to 40-15 with a tremendous, powerful forehand that Muchova - attacking the net - cannot get back.

Karolina Muchova keeps her eye on the ball.
Karolina Muchova keeps her eye on the ball. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images


Muchova digs out the game for 5-4. It’s been excellent from both players, this match. And that is a really gritty and calm effort from Muchova to fight back from 15-40 down and take the game - and, effectively, stay alive in the tournament.

Muchova wins a game point, but a fine, deep return from Stephens forces an error and we’re back to deuce.

Muchova forces it back to deuce after a long rally! Very, very impressive. Neither player held back there, despite the importance of the point. Stephens eventually sends a forehand wide and Muchova has parity.


Now, two break points for Stephens after a couple of errors from Muchova. Muchova saves the first and it’s 30-40. Huge point coming up, can Stephens break again?


Krejcikova and Svitolina are level at 3-3 in their first set, both with a break.

Now Muchova, showing plenty of fight, forces a break point and she gets it! She’s broken back for 4-4 in the second set, and Stephens has more work to do.


Now a break point for Stephens against Muchova! Muchova can’t afford to lose this point. But she does, directing a backhand into the net. Stephens is well set now, a break up once again, 4-3 in the second set, already a set to the good.


Schwartzman is two sets up now against Kohlschreiber: 6-4, 6-2.

Musetti, meanwhile, has hit back to level at 1-1 in sets against Cecchinato: 6-3, 4-6.

Racing ahead 🏃‍♂️@dieschwartzman grabs the opening set 6-4 over Kohlschreiber. #RolandGarros

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 5, 2021

If you missed it, here is a news story from yesterday regarding the arrest of the Russian player, Yana Sizikova, over allegations of spot-fixing in last year’s French Open:


It’s 3-3! Stephens holds serve to draw level in the second set.

Muchova has tightened up her game and is making life much tougher for Stephens now. The American puts a backhand into the net for deuce in the sixth game of the second set.

Following a washout at Lord’s yesterday, it’s game on in St John’s Wood this morning in the first England v New Zealand Test match. Tim de Lisle is covering the action here:


It’s been extremely high-quality tennis here, so much so, it’s a big surprise when Muchova tamely finds the net with a backhand from the baseline. That makes it 30-30 and it’s a chance for Stephens: but now the American puts a shot of her own into the net from the back of the court for 40-30 to Muchova. Muchova closes out the game and it’s 3-2 to the Czech in the second set.


Muchova now advances to the net and produced a lovely angled drop, then smacks a backhanded winner for 30-0. She’s on top right now.

Stephens answers back, dispatching a fine backhand winner on a short ball.


She’s done it! Stephens chases down a drop shot, opening up the right of the court, and Muchova passes to break back! Great point, and a great game. It’s 2-2 in the second set and Muchova is back in it! Muchova is noticeably timing the ball a lot better in the last few games, really starting to get a feel for it.


Muchova gets it wrong again. She’s had four break points so far in this match and converted none of them.

Now, here’s a fifth ... can she do it?

Now, a chance for Muchova to break back ... she gains advantage on Stephens’ serve, but then inexplicably sends a forehand well wide.

But next up, Muchova digs out a stunning volley at the net for another break point!


On Court Philippe-Chatrier, the fifth seed Svitolina has started her match against Krejcikova.

Schwartzman leads Kohlschreiber 3-1 in their second set (the Argentinian also won the first set, 6-4), while Musetti is 4-3 up on Cecchinato in that second set.


A perfectly-judged drop shot from Muchova and she’s on the board in the second set, at 2-1 to Stephens.

Stephens has fallen down the rankings of late - according to the commentators, in fact, she won just four matches throughout the whole of 2020 - but this performance has been well above her current ranking of 59 in the world. Muchova hasn’t played badly but Stephens has exerted control with every area of her game.


Stephens holds comfortably for 2-0 in the second set. Muchova is very much second best here. Muchova has won just one out of 11 points when she’s come to the net, so she probably needs to rethink that tactic.


Muchova sends a forehand long, after another entertaining rally, to seal a Stephens break at the start of the first set! Trouble for Muchova.


Schwartzman wins the first set against Kohlschreiber, 6-4.

Stephens wins the first set, 6-3!

This has been a really interesting and engaging contest: Muchova has been mixing things up with a few clever drop shots, but Stephens has generally been in the ascendancy, taking every advantage with her accomplished forehand and showing ability to dictate the terms of many of the rallies from the baseline.


Muchova moves to 40-0 on her serve, including a drop shot that flicks off the net cord (Muchova raising a hand by way of apology), and a lob which Stephens decided not to play but drops just inside the tramlines. Muchova then seals a love hold with another drop shot - and the American Stephens will serve for the first set at 5-3.


Schwartzman is really making Kohlschreiber work to hold serve in that first set, but the German finally does it, and it’s 5-4 to the Argentinian who will try to serve it out now.

Cecchinato wins his first set against Musetti, 6-3.


The Stephens forehand is causing Muchova plenty of issues. The American earns a second advantage - and wins the game when the Czech sends a volley long. The umpire gets out of his seat and jogs to the back of the court to check the mark, raises his finger in confirmation, and it’s 5-2 to Stephens in this very engaging first set.


Muchova takes it deuce on Stephens’ serve. Muchova then wins a break point with a fine, powerful forehand into the corner on her opponent’s backhand side.

But Stephens then saves the break point with a big forehand of her own which Muchova can only dump in the net.


On court, Stephens and Muchova both hold serve, and it’s 4-2 in the first set.

Kohlschreiber is serving to stay in the first set against Schwartman at 3-5.

Sloane Stephens volleys against Karolina Muchova.
Sloane Stephens volleys against Karolina Muchova. Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA


Sloane Stephens has had a terribly tough year, having lost two grandparents and an aunt to Covid-19, and has said that she wishes she had attended her grandparents’ funeral instead of being in isolation ahead of the Australian Open:

“I should have asked to go to my grandparents’ funeral,” she told the New York Times earlier this week. “I should have made those inquiries and seen if I could get out of the bubble and go home. I didn’t. It’s something that I’ll probably regret for the rest of my life, because I prioritized my tennis over things that were happening in my life. The only thing I can do now is move on and move forward. There’s nothing wrong with having a therapist or two and a grief counselor and all of these things. I have to do what’s best for me and work on myself.”


Schwartzman has broken Kohlschreiber, to go 4-2 up, and now Stephens breaks Muchova for 3-1 in the first set!

Elsewhere in the men’s singles, Marco Cecchinato is 4-2 up on Lorenzo Musetti on Court 7.


Stephens wins a break point with a lovely sliced backhand down the line. Muchova saves it with a delicate (and brave) drop shot - a much better effort than her previous one.


Stephens is seeing it - and hitting it - remarkably well. She wrests control of a rally with a booming backhand, crosscourt, and finishes off the point in style. She is dictating the terms more often than not.

Schwartzman and Kohlschreiber are under way on Suzanne Lenglen and it’s 2-2 in the first set.

Stephens wins four points in a row to hold her second service game, and it’s 2-1 in the American’s favour against Muchova.

Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in action against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in action against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber. Photograph: Benoît Tessier/Reuters


Muchova finally manages to hold: she had to work for that, and this is shaping up to be a closely-fought - and very entertaining - affair. 1-1.


Muchova tries a drop shot for the first time but Stephens runs it down easily and puts away a forehand winner. Back to deuce.


Muchova is now having to work to hold her first service game. Stephens takes it to deuce after a marathon rally, both players hitting wonderfully well early in this match. Muchova grabs advantage, but Stephens stays aliver with an excellent forehand on to Muchova’s toes as the Czech comes forward, and she can only direct it into the net.


Sloane Stephens holds serve against Karolina Muchova to begin their third-round match. It was an interesting first game, with both players hitting the ball sweetly and powerfully. Muchova produced one brilliant clean backhanded winner on Stephens’ second serve, but Stephens generally had the best of the rallies and she is on the board in solid style.


Here is Tumaini Carayol’s report from yesterday, including Serena Williams’ win against Danielle Collins, as well as Aryna Sabalenka’s defeat by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova:


Sloane Stephens v Karolina Muchova (seeded 18) is first up on Court Simonne Mathieu, a match I will focus on to begin with. I’ll bring you live scores from across the other courts, of course. If you have any thoughts on the day’s action, you can drop me an email or tweet @LukeMcLaughlin.


As the days tick by at Roland Garros and the field thins out, the big guns are naturally becoming more noticeable in the order of play: the men’s singles today sees Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal take to the clay for their third-round matches. Nadal, the 13-times French Open champion, will go into battle later today against Cameron Norrie, the British No 2, while Djokovic takes on Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania and Federer meets the left-handed German Dominik Koepfer.

British fans will be fascinated to see how Norrie gets on: he was impressively consistent in his second-round win against Lloyd Harris, but will he have the weapons to trouble the king of clay? We will find out from around 1.15pm.

In the women’s competition, a few big names have admittedly fallen early: Naomi Osaka withdrew, sparking a global debate about mental health and media coverage which rumbles on, while Ash Barty, the world No 1, was forced to retire from the tournament with a hip injury. The reigning champion Iga Swiatek of Poland is still very much in contention, however, in ominous form, and is clearly feeling increasingly confident about a second title. Swiatek faces a potentially tricky tie against 30th seed Estonian Anett Kontaveit this afternoon, scheduled on court at 3pm. Barbora Krejcikova will be the opposition for Elina Svitolina (5) on Philippe-Chatrier from 11am, while the fourth seed Sofia Kenin meets her American compatriot Jessica Pegula on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Coco Gauff v Jennifer Brady is another all-American affair from 3.15pm.

There is light cloud covering Paris at the moment but no rain is expected, and the sun is scheduled to peep through the clouds later in the day. Let’s get started!



Luke McLaughlin

The GuardianTramp

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