Nadal, Muguruza post straight-set wins at French Open

AP Photo
0 Comments

PARIS (AP) Another German qualifier named Yannick, another easy win for Rafael Nadal.

Chasing a record-extending 12th title at the French Open, Nadal posted a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Yannick Maden on Wednesday to reach the third round of the clay-court Grand Slam.

Nadal lost only six games in the first round against Yannick Hanfmann. He was on the verge of doing even better on Wednesday but lost focus briefly in the third set and dropped his serve twice.

“That’s just about concentration,” Nadal said. “Because the feeling on the match has been positive. Positive thing is, every time that I (made) the mistake, then I had the break again, and that’s the good news.”

In the next round, Nadal will be up against 27th-seeded David Goffin.

Sixth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas also advanced, making it to the third round at Roland Garros for the first time. The Greek player overcame a slow start to beat Hugo Dellien of Bolivia 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.

Also, seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori rallied to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

In the women’s draw, former champion Garbine Muguruza and last year’s runner-up Sloane Stephens both posted straight-set wins to progress to the third round.

On a sunny morning in the French capital, Muguruza beat Johanna Larsson 6-4, 6-1 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Seeded 19th this year, Muguruza won the title at Roland Garros in 2016 when she upset Serena Williams in the final. The Spanish player is expected to face tougher opposition in her next match against ninth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who progressed to the third round without hitting a shot.

Svitolina was set to play 67th-ranked Kateryna Kozlova but organizers said the Ukrainian player withdrew with a virus.

Stephens, who lost to Simona Halep in last year’s final, needed a bit more time to defeat gritty but error-prone Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 7-6 (3).

In a match that featured 11 breaks of serve, Stephens could not hold on to a 3-0 lead in the second set and Sorribes Tormo twice had the opportunity to level at 1-set apiece on her serve. A turning point came in the 11th game when the 22-year-old Spaniard hit two consecutive double-faults to drop serve.

The seventh-seeded Stephens hit a series of winners in the tiebreaker and sealed the match with a backhand down the line.

“Just decided to keep it exciting, to play a bit longer on that court,” Stephens joked. “I missed it from last year.”

Later, Roger Federer was facing 144th-ranked Oscar Otte. Federer is playing at Roland Garros after a four-year absence.

More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
Getty Images
1 Comment

DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

Getty Images
3 Comments

DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.