Passport to RG, Day 5—Ostapenko tops Pliskova; Shapovalov out in five

Passport to RG, Day 5—Ostapenko tops Pliskova; Shapovalov out in five

Also on Thursday at Roland Garros, fourth seed Sofia Kenin rallied for a three-set win and eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka eased past Daria Kasatkina

From first ball to last, keep up to date with the latest from Roland Garros every day on TENNIS.com. We'll have match updates, photos, video highlights and more in our daily notebook: Passport to RG. 


All about "the process" for two-time Slam finalist Anderson

Kevin Anderson held off No. 22 seed Dusan Lajovic, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, to keep his Roland Garros dream alive. In a post-match press conference, the 34-year-old spoke about what drives him to continue competing. To no surprise, his biggest driving force is "a Grand Slam that I have not won. I've been in a couple finals."

He added, "It's not always easy, but I think that's one of the big motivating factors for me as well, just this opportunity to keep pushing myself, figuring things out, improving. Just that whole process. I've not really even taken the time to sort of look what might be happening post tennis. That day will eventually come, but hopefully it's still quite a few years away."


Ferro's big win; Berrettini, Rublev advance in four

When the WTA tour resumed in early August, Fiona Ferro was crowned the first champion of the restart in Palermo. Despite not stepping on court again for a match until Roland Garros, the Frenchwoman has picked up right where she left off.

Moved to Court Philippe-Chatrier, Ferro defeated one of 2020's breakout players, No. 13 seed Elena Rybakina, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Breaking back for 2-2 in the decider, Ferro would erase three break points for a crucial hold and eventually ran away from her opponent to match her best Slam run, a third-round appearance at the 2019 US Open. 

Seventh seed Matteo Berrettini topped Lloyd Harris, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, after two hours and 43 minutes. German qualifier Daniel Altmaier stands between the Italian and the round of 16. Altmaier took down 30th-seeded compatriot Jan-Lennard Struff, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Andrey Rublev also moved on with a four-set win. The No. 13 seed beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-5, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 and learned later that Anderson would serve as his third-round opponent.

Getty Images


Tsitsipas on point

After rallying from two sets down for the first time in his career, Stefanos Tsitsipas made sure his day at the office was much shorter Thursday. 

Facing off with Pablo Cuevas for the second time in a week, the No. 5 seed won 80 percent of his points on serve to blast past Cuevas, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2, in 88 minutes—adding to his straight-sets victory in Hamburg. The Greek will take on Aljaz Bedene next for a chance to write a different fourth-round story after losing a heartbreaking five-setter in the round of 16 in 2019 to Stan Wawrinka.

Getty Images


Muguruza to meet Collins in third round

In the first round, 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza was down a break in the third set, before prevailing, 8-6, over Tamara Zidansek.

Two days later, Muguruza enjoyed a much different path to victory, a 6-3, 6-2 dismissal of Kristyna Pliskova. Muguruza won 13/14 net points and dropped her serve just once in the 68-minute win. For a place in the round of 16, the Spaniard will face Danielle Collins. Muguruza edged the American in three sets at 2019 Rome.


Leylah lines up all-lefty clash

Reigning Roland Garros junior champion Leylah Fernandez continues to impress in her jump to the WTA tour in 2020.

Breaking into the Top 100 for the first time two weeks ago, the 18-year-old has come through a pair of three-setters to reach her maiden third round at a major. After knocking out No. 31 seed Magda Linette, Fernandez topped Polona Hercog, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, to confirm a matchup with fellow lefty Petra Kvitova. Fernandez already has a Top 10 win under her belt this year, having upended No. 5 Belinda Bencic during Canada's Fed Cup Finals qualifier in Biel, Switzerland.


Shapovalov crashes out in five-hour tussle after serving for match twice

Ninth seed Denis Shapovalov worked his way into a deciding set, and twice had the match on his racquet at 5-4 and 6-5. Two points from losing in both games, Roberto Caballes Baena dug in both times to extend the match, then broke the Canadian on his first match point to prevail in exactly five hours on Court-Suzanne Lenglen. Caballes Baena gets No. 18 seed Grigor Dimitrov for a chance to further extend his best major showing.

Getty Images


Badosa knocks out 2018 finalist

World No. 87 Paula Badosa had a straight-sets victory in sight against Sloane Stephens. The 2018 runner-up however, appeared to grab the momentum late in the second set. With the Spaniard serving at 4-3, Stephens snatched three straight games to suddenly turn the contest into a winner-take-all set situation.

Badosa regrouped tremendously, winning 16 of 19 serve points and committing just one unforced error in the final set to break away from the 34th-ranked Stephens. The final score: 6-2. 4-6, 6-2 and a career-best win for the 22-year-old, who is also through to the third round on the Grand Slam stage for the first time.

Getty Images


Djokovic completes comprehensive performance

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic wrapped up his day with a clinical 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Ricardas Berankis. The Serbian finished with 10 aces, six breaks of serve from seven chances and a +11 differential in winners to unforced errors. He now holds at least 70 match wins at all four major events and today's brought him even with Roger Federer for second all-time at the clay-court Slam.

Djokovic has advanced to at least the quarterfinal stage in his past 10 visits at Roland Garros, and is aiming to become the first man in the Open Era to win all four majors at least twice. He is now 33-1 on the year and hasn't lost a completed match since the 2019 ATP Finals.

Getty Images


ATP No. 1 off to the races

Top seed Novak Djokovic hasn't been on court for an hour yet, but he's already built a 6-1, 6-2 advantage against Ricardas Berankis. The 2016 champion has won 25 of 26 first-serve points and converted every break point he's created, four, to take full control of the pair's second meeting since August (Djokovic won in the second round at 'Cincinnati in New York')


Dimitrov moves on in straights; Shapo forces decider

Following an awkward start to his day on court (see video further down), No. 18 seed Grigor Dimitrov defeated Andrej Martin, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1, in his second-round match. The Bulgarian wiped away a 2-4 deficit in the second set, and finished his day with an 18 for 22 success rate when coming forward.

Dimitrov could get a shot at Rome revenge in his next match, if Denis Shapovalov completes his comeback from two sets to one down against Roberto Caballes Baena. The No. 9 seed grabbed the fourth, 6-3.

Getty Images


Second-half surge propels Kenin; Sabalenka tops Kasatkina

After trailing Ana Bogdan, fourth seed Sofia Kenin decided enough was enough in winning nine of the final 11 games for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory. Increasing the depth on her groundstrokes as the match wore on, Kenin employed excellent use of her drop shot to keep the Romanian off balanced. Kenin will be once again be a considerable favorite in her next round, as she awaits Alison Van Uytvanck or Irina Bara.

Eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka went on a tear of her own, easing past Daria Kasatkina, 7-6 (6), 6-0. Kasatkina served for the opening set at 6-5, and later held set point at 6-5 in the tiebreaker. Sabalenka delivered a powerful punch in the second set with 19 winners to progress in one hour and 29 minutes.

AP Images


Kenin relinquishes first set; Shapovalov battling

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin will have to go the distance to prevent herself from joining second seed Karolina Pliskova as a Day 5 casualty. 

At 3-4, a pair of double faults from Kenin put her in a 0-40 hole and the Romanian broke three points later, before serving out the set.

Denis Shapovalov dropped his first set, 7-5, to Roberto Caballes Baena and after being locked in another tight set with the Spaniard, eked out a tiebreaker, 7-6 (5).


WATCH: Dimitrov's 'leg day' gets off to a bumpy start

Ever had a pant leg get caught in the worst of times? Grigor Dimitrov did ahead of his coin toss, and as time ticked down, the Bulgarian did what was necessary to avoid being late.


Kvitova avoids upset bug; joined by Collins in round three

Seventh seed Petra Kvitova was untroubled in her second-round match, defeating Jasmine Paolini, 6-3, 6-3. The left-hander won 10 of 13 net points to move into the third round for a ninth occasion. A win against Polona Hercog or Leylah Fernandez would see Kvitova compete in the second week for the first time since 2015.

Danielle Collins cooled off 17-year-old qualifier Clara Tauson, 6-2, 6-3, after 70 minutes to achieve her best showing at the clay-court major. The American was clean off the ground, hitting just 10 unforced errors to go along with 26 winners. Collins could get 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza next, should the Spaniard advance past Kristyna Pliskova.

Getty Images


No. 2 SEED FALLS: Pliskova's Slam struggles sustain

Karolina Pliskova is the highest seed to fall, as 2017 Roland Garros titlist Jelena Ostapenko eliminates the No. 2 seed, 6-4, 6-2.

Pliskova came into Paris with some injury concerns after stopping in the second set of the Rome final, though held up in a three-setter to win her opener. But today, Ostapenko had everything going, which included offering up just three double faults and striking 27 winners. The Czech struggled to find her range, finishing with nine winners and 25 unforced errors.

Ostapenko is now 3-3 against the former US Open finalist after getting through in 69 minutes.

"I just knew before the match I have to serve well and be aggressive when I can," Ostapenko told Fabrice Santoro on court afterwards. "I'm very grateful to play here on this court."

Pliskova finishes 2020 with a 4-3 mark at the majors. 


Ostapenko strikes first 

There were five service breaks in the first set, and its Jelena Ostapenko who tipped the scale in securing a 6-4 lead over No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova. The winner here three years ago, Ostapenko was dead even on winners and unforced errors with 12 on both sides. Pliskova ended with a -8 differential.

Denis Shapovalov is down an early break to Roberto Carballes Baena and Danielle Collins has raced to her first set, 6-2, over Danish teen Clara Tauson.

Cedric Lecocq / FFT


Grand Slam tennis in October?! Yep, it's real

Day 5 at Roland Garros begins a hot contest right out of the gates under Chatrier's shiny new roof, and while rain was present earlier, the delay in starting play on the other courts looks to be kept to a minimum.

Pushed to three sets in her opener, second seed Karolina Pliskova meets 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko. Outside of her title run, Ostapenko was winless in her other Roland Garros appearances until Tuesday. Pliskova leads their head-to-head series, 3-2, and won their lone meeting at a Slam, 10-8 in the third, at the 2017 Australian Open. This is their first clash on clay, however.

This year's Australian Open champions Sofia Kenin and Novak Djokovic join Stefanos Tsitsipas in completing the headliners on Chatrier, which has made the most of its upgraded facility so far this week. Facing Ana Bogdan, the fourth-seeded Kenin is one of just two seeds left in her quarter of the draw along with No. 14 seed Elena Rybakina, who should be tested by Palermo champion Fiona Ferro.

Djokovic takes on Ricardas Berankis for his place in the third round. The Lithuanian gave Djokovic a solid test at 'Cincinnati in New York', though that was the world No. 1's first match back since the ATP tour reopened. Tsitsipas meanwhile, gets an even quicker rematch with Pablo Cuevas. The fifth seed just beat the six-time ATP clay-court titlist in the Hamburg second round exactly one week ago.

Around the grounds, Rome semifinalist Denis Shapovalov, 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza, two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini, 17-year-old Clara Tauson and 2018 finalist Sloane Stephens are among those seeking third-round spots. In what could prove to be the match of the day, No. 8 seed Aryna Sabalenka squares off against Daria Kasatkina second on Court 7. 

Cedric Lecocq / FFT