French Open Day 5 Men’s Recap: Five Seeded Players Lose

Novak Djokovic in action at the French Open.

Day 5 of the French Open was the most entertaining day so far. There were several superb men’s singles matches, with defending champion Novak Djokovic and 2021 US Open winner Daniil Medvedev among those in action. Many notable names in the sport were knocked out on Day 5 in Paris. This article recaps which players impressed, who struggled and then gives the best match of the day.

French Open Day 5 Men’s Recap

Who Looked Good

Novak Djokovic won in straight sets for the second time in a row at this year’s French Open. He overcame Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4 6-1 6-2. The Spaniard’s gritty style extracted some errors from the world No. 1 in the first set but he eradicated those mistakes in the final two sets. Djokovic never looked in any real danger throughout the contest.

Daniil Medvedev’s second round match was even shorter. Unfortunately, his opponent Miomir Kecmanovic retired with the score 6-1 5-0 in favor of the Russian. Kecmanovic seemed to be struggling from the beginning and could not compete effectively. Retiring to avoid potentially making his injury concern even worse was the right decision.

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Alexander Zverev successfully built on his opening round victory against Rafael Nadal at the French Open. After being pushed hard in the opening set by David Goffin, he eased through the last two sets to prevail 7-6 6-2 6-2. The German was nearly unplayable in the second and third sets. Although there are many great contenders for the title, Zverev may be tough to stop in this form.

Grigor Dimitrov also played well on Day 5. He dismantled Fabian Marozsan 6-0 6-3 6-4. The Hungarian is a dangerous opponent when his powerful game is firing, but Dimitrov did not allow him to do that. The Bulgarian was rewarded for being more solid during the match.

Casper Ruud had to work much harder to win a high-quality affair against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. After a long battle, the two-time French Open runner-up prevailed 7-6 1-6 6-3 4-6 6-3. The Norwegian was able to avenge a five-set loss to the Spaniard at the same event in 2021, after another tense battle between the pair.

Who Looked Bad

Frances Tiafoe’s difficulties since last year’s US Open continued on Day 5 at the French Open. Despite making a positive start, he fell 6-7 6-4 6-2 6-4 to Denis Shapovalov. The Canadian deserves credit for his performance, but Tiafoe was very wasteful during the match. Incredibly, he failed to take 19 of the 20 break points he created throughout the contest.

Karen Khachanov was another seeded player to be knocked out in Paris. He surprisingly blew a two-set advantage against Jozef Kovalik. The final score was 4-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 in favour of the Slovenian. Although Kovalik was inspired at times, Khachanov should have had enough to win. He was also wasteful on break points; taking five out of 18 chances created.

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19th seed Alexander Bublik was poor from start to finish against Jan-Lennard Struff. The Kazakhstani was comprehensively defeated 6-2 6-2 6-3. Bublik’s usually formidable serve was broken six times throughout and he quickly exited the French Open as a result.

Italian veteran Fabio Fognini was the worst performer on Day 5. The former Masters 1000 champion only managed three games in a 1-6 0-6 2-6 hammering by Tommy Paul. This may have been Fognini’s poorest ever showing in a Grand Slam main draw match.

Match Of The Day

There were a few strong contenders for match of the day. 20th seed Sebastian Baez lost from two sets up 3-6 3-6 6-4 7-5 7-6 against Sebastian Ofner, while Mariano Navone was the fifth seed to lose on Day 5 at the French Open after falling 2-6 1-6 6-4 6-1 1-6 to Tomas Machac.

Overall though, Holger Rune’s battle against Flavio Cobolli was the best match of the day. One break of serve was enough for the Dane to take the opening set 6-4. After a competitive start to the second set, Rune broke serve twice and won three games in a row to lead by two sets. A comfortable victory for the 21-year-old seemed a formality at that stage, but the Italian had other ideas. Cobolli stormed back and dominated Rune in the following two sets, winning them both 6-3.

Despite a few long games, both players held their nerve very well on serve in the deciding set. After no further breaks, a 10-point tiebreak was needed to decide the contest. Cobolli raced out of the blocks and led 5-0 and then 6-2. It seemed like a long way back for the 13th seed. Yet, he somehow managed to do it. Rune claimed eight out of the last nine points in the tiebreak to seal a dramatic 6-4 6-3 3-6 3-6 7-6 victory.

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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