No. 1 Djokovic eases into 3rd round; Zverev rallies

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PARIS — 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 was able to push Djokovic to a third-set tiebreaker but 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 Aljaz Bedene.

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.