Serena does it and Rafa has it easier (Day 5 RG 2018).

I walked in tonight to see Serena trailing *2-5 ( yes I had it on the app before but I lost connection at *2/3). Three games later I had witnessed a large number of errors from Serena’s racket and Barty lead 6/3 *1/0. Serena a set and a breakdown AND in trouble against a player I think has a top game.

 
Rena came back out from the quick change of ends and took the game by the scruff. Serving big and hitting a lot more consistently. She didn’t lose her serve again. It was a different game. What was impressive was that Barty kept a high level. She kept Serena on her toes until she served out to love for a 3/6 6/3 6/4 win.

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Winning the French is a huge ask (not impossible) but this was very encouraging for the year going forward. For Paris its point by point, game by game, round by round. Obviously not at her best but I was impressed and proud of how well she played tonight. Julia Goerges will be another good test and a level up again if playing near her potential on Saturday. For Serena though, it is great that she is back out there competing and looking competitive. #Renasarmy.

 

Caroline Garcia had a bit of a squeaky bum moment against Shuai Peng, who took her the distance. She refocused and took the decider. Hopefully, just bedding in and the fact that Duan couldn’t get a ball in court means she could have been caught a bit cold. Begu will again almost certainly make a lot of balls in the next round. She is gonna have to keep taking it to them.

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Karolina Pliskova will play Maria Sharapova in the third round. Sharapova just about got over the line against Donna Vekic in two. Pliskova dropped the opening set against Safarova before upping it from there on in. It is virtually toss of a coin on the betting front. Sharapova has ever so slight favouritism by the skin of her teeth.

 

Garbine Muguruza wasn’t in the form she was in against Kuzzy but got it done in two against Fiona Ferro. Angie Kerber and Simona Halep also eased through. Elise Mertens also beat Heather Watson in straights. I believe Watson is heading to Surbiton now after having a quick look at the entry lists.

 
Rafa had a much easier ride than he did against Simone Bolleli in his opener. Today he swatted Guido Pella out of sight 6/2 6/1 6/1. Pella had previously said he was going to change his game up for this and he did try. The Argentine tried to be aggressive but, understandably, got more demoralised as the match progressed. I rate Pella but this was very one-sided. Richard Gasquet next for Nadal.

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Dom Thiem finished off the threat of Stefanos Tsitsipas today having led overnight by two sets to one. Nicking a very high-quality third set last night was absolutely massive.
Lucas Pouille looked edgy in finishing off Cameron Norrie from last night. Having served for the match at 6/5 in the fourth nerves got the better of him. The job was done in the breaker, where Norrie got unlucky by interfering with the net (did he or didn’t). The Brit was already *3-5  down in the breaker. Great effort from Nozza, he dedicated this effort to his late Nan. Gutsy from the Brit. I look forward to seeing him on the grass.

 

Kyle Edmund is into the third round though. Beating Geneva Champ Martin Fucsovics in four. There was a little wobble in the second having bageled the Hungarian in the opener. You cannot expect completely flawless tennis from him just yet though. There will be the odds momentary blips in concentration. A job most defo done today. An intriguing matchup with Fabio Fognini awaits. The Italian with the swag battered Elias Ymer 6/4 6/1 6/2. Looking forward to this one on Saturday. Edmund trying to dictate with the serve and the forehand whilst Fabio will be outright shot making. Expect a few fireworks.

 

Schwartzman, Isner, Cilic, Coric and Big Kev Anderson all won today. Anderson and then particularly Isner were awesome on serve today. Cuevas and Zeballos the unlucky two. Juan Martin Del Potro put an end to Julien Benneteau’s last Roland Garros. Delpo has played six good sets of tennis having got bread-sticked by Mahut in the opening set. Denis Shapovalov lost to Maximillian Marterer in a minor upset. The Canadian is learning by the minute on clay. He has probably done better than I thought he would on the red stuff so far.

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Andy Del Potro

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