French Open Day 6: Djokovic survives scare aginst Schwartzman, Nadal crushes Bashashvili

Defending champion Novak Djokovic survived a big scare on day six of the French Open, as the world number two twice came from behind to edge out Diego Schwartzman in five sets.

Djokovic was all out-of-sorts early on as he hit 21 errors in falling 4-1 behind as he went on to lose first set, but a late break point in the second pulled the Serbian level in the match.

Novak Djokovic won his first French Open title last year
image: skysports.com

Schwartzman continued to crank up the pressure on the 12-time grand slam champion, as the unseeded Argentine broke the Serbian for a 5-3 lead in the third set, before recovering from 0-40 to serve out the set.

However, Djokovic would soon find his feet as he raced to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set and despite a row with the umpire, he remained focused to win 12 of the last 14 games to help him to a thrilling 5-7 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-1 victory.

Djokovic will be looking for a much better display in the last 16 as he now faces a test against Albert Ramos Vinolas for a place in the quarter-finals, as the Spaniard also needed five sets to oust Lucas Pouille.

The 19th seed recovered from falling 2-1 down to book his spot in the fourth round, after emerging a 6-3 3-6 5-7 6-2 6-1 winner against the Frenchman.

There was a ruthless showing from tournament favourite Rafael Nadal, as the fourth seed battered Georgian Nikoloz Bashashvili to edge closer towards a record tenth French Open title.

The Spaniard only needed 90 minutes to cruise into the last 16 with a 6-0 6-1 6-0 straight sets win over world number 63 Bashashvili to bring his remarkable record at Roland Garros to 75 wins and just two losses.

Nadal raced through the first set in 23 minutes and won the next five games in a row, before Basilashvili finally got on the scoreboard. Nadal went two sets up by winning the next game, before cruising through the third to clinch a dominant victory with his 27th winner.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion will face fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the next round, after the 17th seed also enjoyed a comfortable day at the office in a 6-3 6-4 6-3 straight sets win over Czech Jiri Vesely.

Fifth seed Milos Raonic reached the last 16 of the French Open to keep his hopes of a first major title alive, after his Spanish opponent Guillermo Garcia-Lopez retired with a thigh injury after the Canadian built up a 6-1 1-0 lead.

The Canadian will now face Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round, after the Spaniard upset 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-5 6-3 6-4 to inflict an early exit on the Australian Open semi-finalist.

Belgium’s David Goffin is also out of the French Open, after the tenth seed had to retire due to an ankle injury while leading 5-4 in the first set against Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos.

There was better news for promising Austrian Dominic Thiem, as the sixth seed overcame a tough second set tie-breaker against American Steve Johnson to seal his place in the fourth round with a 6-1 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 win.

Defending champion Garbine Muguruza battled into the fourth round of the French Open, as the Spaniard overcame the test of Yulia Putintseva to reach the last 16.

The fourth seed won a tight first set that saw seven breaks of serve, but Murguruza was much improved in the second set to see off her Kazakh opponent 7-5 6-2 to stay on course for a second French Open title.

The 23-year-old will now face 13th seed Kristina Mladenovic in the last 16, after the Frenchwoman produced a remarkable comeback to edge out American Shelby Rogers.

The 24-year-old had to battle from 5-2 down in the deciding set to bag a close fought 7-5 4-6 8-6 victory against Rogers and reach the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time.

There were no problems for 36-year-old Venus Williams in her third round encounter against Elise Mertens of Belgium, as the American cruised into the last 16 to keep hopes of a first grand slam title since 2008 alive.

The tenth seed wasted little time in securing a 6-3 6-1 win against her 21-year-old opponent in just over an hour and two minutes, as the five-time Wimbledon champion goes in search for a first French Open title on her record 20th appearance at the Paris grand slam.

Standing in Williams’ way of a place in the last eight at Roland Garros is 30th seed Timea Bacsinszky, as Tunisian Ons Jabeur proved no match for the Swiss player who cruised to a 6-2 6-2 victory.

Venus Williams is yet to drop a set at this year’s French Open
image: sports.yahoo.com

2009 French Open champion Svtelana Kuznetsova had to dig deep to secure her passage into the fourth round, as she was pushed all the way by Chinese opponent Shuai Zhang in an enthralling 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 7-5 win in over three hours.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands could not follow-up on her impressive win over Petra Kvitova, as Australia’s Sam Stousr proved too strong for the American in a comfortable 6-2 6-2 victory.

Latvian Jelena Ostapenko reached the fourth round of a grand slam tournament for the first time, as the 19-year-old enjoyed a comfortable 6-1 6-4 straight sets win over Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine.

More results from day six, including the latest doubles action, can be found at this link.

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