Gael Monfils likes doing things the hard way at the French Open, where five-setters are becoming his trademark.
The 13th-seeded Frenchman trailed Pablo Cuevas 2-1 in sets on Suzanne Lenglen court, before rallying to win 4-6, 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the fourth round.
It is the 13th time the 28-year-old has been taken to five sets in 10 years of play at Roland Garros
In the second round on Wednesday, he also trailed 2-1 in sets before finally getting the better of Diego Schwartzman.
Perhaps it’s just good practice for what awaits him: 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.
Fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych is into the French Open fourth round, overcoming a tough start to beat Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4.
The 29-year-old, a quarterfinalist at Roland Garros last year, has never won a Grand Slam. The closest he got was in 2010, losing the Wimbledon final to Rafael Nadal.
Berdych, who broke Paire’s serve seven times, next faces either 14th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France or Spaniard Pablo Andujar.
They are playing their match on center court, with Tsonga taking a close-fought first set in a tiebreak.
Fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic is having a tough time on Court 1 against unseeded Frenchman Benoit Paire in the French Open third round.
Berdych, who reached the last four at Roland Garros in 2010, easily took the first set 6-1.
But the 71st-ranked Paire bounced back to win the second set 7-6 (5).
The gloomy and overcast conditions seem to be slowing Berdych, one of the biggest hitters on the tour.
Defending champion Maria Sharapova is into the French Open fourth round after beating Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-3, 6-4.
The second-seeded Russian has a great record against Stosur, the 26th seed, and has now beaten her 15 times in their 17 meetings.
The 28-year-old Sharapova is seeking her third French Open title, having also won it last year and in 2012, and her sixth Grand Slam title overall.
She next plays Lucie Safarova and leads the Czech player 4-1.
Although Wimbledon is still one month away, Nicolas Mahut is already playing like he’s on grass.
The Frenchman came to the net 104 times during his third-round match against countryman Gilles Simon on Friday. The strategy didn’t work: Simon won 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1.
The 12th-seeded Simon preferred to hug the baseline, coming to the net just 29 times.
The feathers. The anguish. Richard Gasquet is having trouble forgetting the pigeon that got tangled in television equipment during his second-round win.
The unfortunate bird got stuck under a cable attached to a camera. That was Thursday evening. The 20th seed was still haunted by it Friday.
”I don’t think I have ever seen something like this,” Gasquet said.
”I remember the feathers all over the place, and the fans thought it was crazy, too,” he added. ”I had no idea what was happening. I had to ask the umpire. This was unbelievable, this pigeon getting stuck in the camera.”
Stan the Man.
That what’s written on the plastic wrapping of Stanislas Wawrinka’s rackets. And the French Open’s eighth seed was certainly in bossy mood on Court 1 against Steve Johnson, beating the American 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in just 1 hour 29 minutes.
Wawrinka hit eight aces, did not face a single break point, and broke Johnson’s serve four times.
Cool as a cucumber.
Roger Federer was hardly tested in winning 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 against Damir Dzumhur, a 23-year-old Bosnian ranked 88th.
”I’m quite relaxed,” Federer told the center court crowd in French after the third-round match.
Playing Dzumhur for the first time, Federer won in 1 hour, 28 minutes.
”I didn’t know him and I didn’t know how he’d play on the key points,” said Federer, who won the tournament in 2009.
Roger Federer is cruising toward the French Open fourth round, after taking the first two sets 6-4, 6-3 against Damir Dzumhur, a 23-year-old Bosnian played ranked 88th.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion, who was facing Dzumhur for the first time, dropped his serve at 5-2 but broke straight back to clinch the second set and broke for a 3-1 lead in the third.
The 33-year-old Swiss star, who is seeded second at the tournament, won his only French Open title in 2009.
Ninth-seeded Ekaterina Makarova, a semifinalist this year at the Australian Open, is into the French Open fourth round after beating Russian countrywoman Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-4.
Makarova next faces former champion Ana Ivanovic, seeded seventh, and will be aiming to reach the French quarterfinals for the first time.
Alize Cornet’s 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni puts the 29th seed into the fourth round of the French Open for the first time in 11 attempts.
But in the 10th game of a tense third set, with Cornet on her second serve at 30-30, she served to the right when her opponent was standing on the left.
Feeding off the energy of the partisan center-court crowd, the Frenchwoman let out angry screams and pumped her fists to release the tension. At deuce in the 11th game, she slipped and did the splits.
Cornet celebrated her victory as if she had won the tournament, falling onto her back, letting out a scream and then bursting into tears. Picking herself up, she rushed to the net to thank her opponent, forgetfully leaving her racket behind her on the clay. A helpful ball-boy later retrieved it.
”At last, I’m into the second week at Roland. I’ve been waiting for this for 11 years,” she said.
With his bad back behind him, Richard Gasquet is looking ahead.
After a five-set, second-round French Open match that spanned two days, the 20th seed says he is ready to take on 15th-seeded Kevin Anderson despite having just one day to recover.
”My preparation will be shortened, but everything’s fine for me, I’m physically well,” Gasquet said after winning the fifth set against Carlos Berlocq that was held over from the night before.
The score when the evening gloom stopped play on Thursday was 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6. Gasquet whistled through the deciding set 6-1 on Friday to defeat the Argentine.
Gasquet, a former No. 7 now ranked 21st, recently returned to competition after retiring in Indian Wells with a back injury. He made a successful comeback to the ATP tour in Estoril, where he won his second title of the year.
Richard Gasquet looks in the mood to spend as little time as possible on court against Carlos Berlocq of Argentina.
The players trudged off Court Suzanne Lenglen at 9:20 p.m on Thursday night, with their second-round match tied at two sets apiece after nearly three hours of play.
They came out again Friday to finish the match.
Gasquet, seeded 20th, has raced into a 4-1 lead.
It took Ana Ivanovic just 53 minutes to return to a fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in more than a year.
Ivanovic, who won the French Open in 2008 the year after losing in the final, advanced 6-0, 6-3 against 165th-ranked Donna Vekic.
Ivanovic last made the fourth round of a major at the Australian Open in 2014.
Ivanovic saved a break point serving for the match and finished with 19 winners.
Stars from the soccer world seem to like Court Suzanne Lenglen at the French Open.
Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who plays for Bayern Munich and helped his country win last year’s World Cup, was seen clapping during Friday’s third-round match between seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Donna Vekic of Croatia.
On Thursday, Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic – whose club plays nearby – was at the same court as he cheered on top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who is friends with the Swede.
Former tennis prodigy Mirjana Lucic-Baroni is about to open play on center court at Roland Garros.
Now 33, the 70th-ranked Croatian player is bidding to reach the fourth round for the first time in Paris after upsetting 2014 runner-up Simona Halep in her previous match.
Lucic-Baroni made her breakthrough in 1999 when she reached the semifinals of Wimbledon but her career was then hindered by injuries and financial problems.
She is up against local hope and 29th-seeded Alize Cornet.