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Sunday September 25th, 2022 5:47PM

French Open updates | Alcaraz saves match point and wins

By The Associated Press
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PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the French Open tennis tournament (all times local):

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8:35 p.m.

Rising star Carlos Alcaraz saved a match point in the fourth set and erased an early deficit in the fifth to overcome Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-7 (7), 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4 at Roland Garros.

The sixth-seeded Alcaraz grabbed six of the final seven games, and the last half-dozen points, to finish off the second-round victory that lasted more than 4 1/2 hours.

Alcaraz is just 19 but arrived in Paris with a lot of expectations — of his own and of others — based on his breakthrough season that includes a tour-leading four titles. He is the youngest player to break into the top 10 of the ATP rankings since Rafael Nadal in 2005.

En route to the Madrid Open title on red clay earlier this month, Alcaraz became the first man to beat both Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the same tournament on that surface.

But he was quite close to making a quicker-than-anyone-expected exit against fellow Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas, a 34-year-old who is ranked 44th.

Alcaraz was a point from losing while Ramos-Vinolas served for the victory at 5-4 in the fourth set. But Ramos-Vinolas missed a forehand there. Eighty minutes later, after trailing 3-0 in the fifth, Alcaraz earned his first match point and converted it with an ace.

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6:40 p.m.

Novak Djokovic eased into the third round of his French Open title defense with a straight-set victory over Alex Molcan.

The top-ranked Djokovic defeated the 24-year-old Slovakian 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (4) at Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Molcan is coached by Djokovic's long-time coach Marian Vajda and was able to push Djokovic to a third-set tiebreaker. But Molcan threw his racket down in frustration after hitting the ball into the net — his 34th unforced error — to fall behind 6-3 before Djokovic closed it out.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion next faces 32-year-old Slovenian Aljaž Bedene.

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6:15 p.m.

Alexander Zverev had to rally from two sets down and save a match point to reach the third round Roland Garros.

The German overcame Argentina’s Sebastian Baez 2-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 7-5.

That’s the good news for the No. 3 seed.

The bad news is Baez was making his French Open debut, and Zverev’s half of the draw includes Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

Zverev had trouble with the 21-year-old Baez’s serve but got his return game in order in the third set.

Zverev saved a match point before holding for 5-5 in the decider and then broke Baez before serving out the match.

The last time Zverev put himself in a two-set hole at Roland Garros it didn’t end as well. He battled back in the semifinals last June against Stefanos Tsitsipas but lost in five sets.

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5:45 p.m.

Czech player Marie Bouzkova has withdrawn from the French Open before her second-round match because she says she tested positive for COVID-19.

She is the first singles player to pull out of Roland Garros because of the coronavirus.

Bouzkova was supposed to face No. 31-seed Elise Mertens, who advanced to the third round.

Bouzkova wrote on Twitter that she hopes she “will start to feel better soon and get back on court.”

Bouzkova is a 23-year-old who has never made it past the second round of a Grand Slam tournament in 13 appearances, including 10 losses in the first round.

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4:05 p.m.

Fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari has lost in the second round of the French Open a year after reaching the semifinals.

Sakkari was defeated by Czech player Karolina Muchova 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) at Roland Garros, meaning two of the top four women’s seeds already have been eliminated.

Second-seeded Barbora Krejcikova, the defending champion, lost on Monday.

The 81st-ranked Muchova beat then-No. 1 Ash Barty at the 2021 Australian Open and is now 4-2 against players ranked in the top 5.

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3:30 p.m.

American teenager Coco Gauff advanced to the third round of the French Open by beating Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium 6-1, 7-6 (4).

The 18-year-old Gauff is trying to improve on her quarterfinal run at the French Open last year — her best result at a major.

Gauff twice fell behind by two games in the second set but broke back both times. The American forced three errors from Van Uytvanck in the tiebreaker.

The 28-year-old Van Uytvanck’s best result at a Grand Slam tournament was reaching the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in 2015.

Gauff is the youngest player remaining in the draw and celebrated her high school graduation this week with pictures at the Eiffel Tower.

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1:25 p.m.

U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu is out of the French Open in the second round.

The 19-year-old Raducanu lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Sasnovich won 12 of 14 service points in the second set en route to her 16th career victory over a top-20 player.

The 12th-seeded Raducanu failed to convert on five break-point chances at 1-1 in the third set.

Sasnovich advanced to the third round at Roland Garros for the first time. This is her seventh appearance.

The 28-year-old Sasnovich had also beaten Raducanu at Indian Wells last year in the Briton’s first match after winning the title at Flushing Meadows.

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1:05 p.m.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reached the third round at the French Open by beating Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 7-6 (3).

The 15th-seeded Azarenka had only 13 unforced errors to Petkovic's 42.

Azarenka has twice won the Australian Open and was a semifinalist at Roland Garros in 2013.

The 34-year-old Petkovic reached the French Open semifinals in 2014 but has not been beyond the third round at any Grand Slam since then. She is a five-time clay-court champion on the tour.

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11 a.m.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz are all on the schedule at the French Open as the second round begins on Day 4.

Defending champion Djokovic faces Alex Molcan at Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Alcaraz meets compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas at Court Simonne Mathieu. The 19-year-old Spaniard is seeded sixth and leads the tour with four titles in 2022.

Thirteen-time champion Nadal will close the day on Court Philippe Chatrier in the night session against Corentin Moutet.

Third-seeded Alexander Zverev faces Sebastian Baez in the afternoon.

The most intriguing women’s matchup pits 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu against Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic.

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More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis, AP Sports - Men's Tennis, AP Sports - Women's Tennis
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