French Open: Djokovic, Serena breeze into third round

Novak Djokovic
Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a shot during the French Open second round match against Henri Laaksonen. AFP
SHARE

Paris: Novak Djokovic wasted little time beating Henri Laaksonen 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to breeze into the third round of the French Open and stay on course to hold all four Grand Slam titles.

The 32-year-old Serbian top seed, bidding to win his second French Open, was at his clinical best in the opening set against the Swiss lucky loser, dropping only three points on serve.

There was a brief loss of focus when Djokovic was broken to love midway though the second set but he was quickly back in the groove to move two sets ahead.

Laaksonen, ranked 104th in the world, had only reached the second round once in a Grand Slam, and there was no way back as Djokovic broke twice in the third to wrap up victory.

As with holder Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Djokovic has enjoyed a friendly first-week draw and he will face Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso for a place in the fourth round.

TENNIS-FRA-OPEN-WOMEN
Serena Williams of the US plays a shot during the French Open second round match against Japan's Kurumi Nara. AFP

Meanwhile, Serena Williams cruised into the third round with a routine 6-3, 6-2 win against Japanese Kurumi Nara, wasting no energy in her quest for a record-equalling Grand Slam singles title.

The 10th seed, chasing a first major since the 2017 Australian Open, survived a first-set fright in her opening match, but there was no hiccup this time.

She will take on fellow American Sofia Kenin in the next round, with world number one Naomi Osaka a potential opponent in the quarter-finals.

As often with Williams, both the clothes and the arm did the talking on Court Philippe Chatrier.

She stepped into the stadium wearing her Virgil Abloh-designed dress printed with the words "Reine, Mere, Championne, Deesse" (Queen, Mother, Champion, Goddess).

On court, the 37-year-old was given a decent workout by world number 238 Nara, who was playing her only second match in the main draw of a tour-level tournament this year.

Nara stood her ground in the first seven games but derailed in the eighth as Williams broke for 5-3 with a booming forehand winner down the line.

The Japanese cracked earlier in the second set, dropping serve in the third game, and never recovered as Williams snatched her 801st victory on the tour.

MORE IN TENNIS
SHOW MORE
The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.