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Top Seeds Cruise on French Open Day 5

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, and David Ferrer all moved on to the third round of the French Open without much trouble on Thursday at Roland Garros. Murray had a slight lapse in the second set and needed four to get through the match, but he was never in danger as the match went on. Murray’s next match could be more troublesome, though, as Nick Kyrgios moved on with a walkover over Kyle Edmund to become Murray’s third-round opponent. For a look at the Women’s Results Click Here

Who Looked Good:

Rafael Nadal (defeated Nicolas Almagro 64 63 61): It cannot be understated how close to vintage Nadal the Mallorcan looked today. Almagro played well and was hitting with power all over the court. Nadal defended everything and opened up the court with massive forehands like he loves to do. He’s still not near his peak level and probably not playing well enough to beat Djokovic, but he’s getting back there.

Jeremy Chardy (defeated John Isner 64 46 63 63): Chardy played well, but that’s not what was impressive here. He limited Isner to 15 aces and won almost 40% of the points on Isner’s serve. Those are unreal stats. If he can get that involved in anyone’s service games, he will be tough for anyone to beat.

Marin Cilic (defeated Andrea Amaboldi 76(3) 61 61): Amaboldi had his moment in the light but he couldn’t keep up with the #9 seed here. This was a good showing from Cilic, who is still not in match form after his extended injury absence. He’s getting there, though. And this match was definitely a step in the right direction.

Borna Coric (defeated Robredo 75 36 62 46 64): There were not too many actual superlatives to say from Coric for this match. The 18-year-old just continued his good form in this match and showed his stamina, gutting out a five-set win over a top 20 player. (It’s not his first; he beat top 20 Janowicz in five sets in Davis Cup last year.) A potential meeting against another rising youngster in Jack Sock awaits on Saturday. If he wins that, it’s most likely a potential early-career-defining match against Nadal.

Who Looked Bad:

John Isner (lost to Chardy 46 64 36 36): Isner was far from his best today. He allowed himself to get frustrated when Chardy was putting so many of his serves back in play. Fatigue also seemed to set in later in the match, though, and he didn’t run down a lot of rallies that he usually does. Once famous for being the “marathon man”, Isner seems to be having these fatigue issues more and more often.

Philipp Kohlschreiber (lost to Pablo Andujar 16 67(5) 63 63 46): This match started Wednesday but stayed overnight due to darkness. Kohlschreiber came out slow and never really found a top rhythm. He has a ton of talent but he just can’t seem to bring his best every tournament. This was where it really counted and Kohlschreiber just didn’t have his best form. A disappointing result for the underachieving German, to be sure.

Tommy Robredo (lost to Coric 57 63 26 64 46): You can’t really fault Robredo for losing to the up-and-coming Coric. The talented youngster will be seeded at Slams very soon. Still, he never really found a good rhythm and his unforced error count just creeped up way too high. I won’t say that this is a match that Robredo should have won, but it is definitely one in which he could have played much better.

Match of the Day:

Thursday was chock full of five-set matches but there is one clear choice for match of the day. Two young Aussies went at it for five incredible sets when Bernard Tomic met Thanasi Kokkinakis early on Thursday. Tomic took the first two sets without too much trouble and Kokkinakis looked frustrated. The match did not look like it was going to be a classic. It looked like a quick victory for the Australian #1.

Kokkinakis came back in the third set, taking one important break chance and grabbing the third set. The fourth set had some late drama, with Kokkinakis taking a nasty fall that required getting a gash on his stomach cleaned and bandaged. He still served out the set after that, though, and we were going five.

The fifth set, like the early part of the match, looked like it would be a route in Tomic’s favor. Tomic raced out to a 4-1 lead but it was only one break. Kokkinakis looked tired and out of it. He fought back, though, getting the break to come back to 4-3*. It was a fight from there until we went past 6-6, where Kokkinakis picked up the decisive break. A tense service game followed and Kokkinakis was through to his first-ever French Open third round.

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