It turned out to be a day that Karolina Pliskova probably has had as nightmares about on this surface. Exactly the sort she would dread. Martic came out, served, returned, sliced and moved superbly. The Czech really didn’t have any answers for the consistently high level from the Croat, it was a classy display. Her fourth-round opponent is Kaia Kanepi. Martic goes off as a 2/5 (71%) poke with the bookmakers but you rest assured in a slam that Kaia will leave it all out there. There was some 200/1 flying around for Martic to win Wimbledon yesterday by the way.
Marketa Vondrousova kept it moving with a straights sets win over Carla Suarez Navarro 6/4 6/4. This was obviously a match you knew she was going to have to be on her toes for and she played well. Anastasija Sevastova will be her next opponent after she won an extremely high-level match with Elise Mertens, 11/9 in the third. Viewers of this were singing the praises of both players.
Sloane worried the hell out of me yesterday, she should have got that done in straights, obviously. The fact she fell over the line against Hercog, in the end, isn’t overly encouraging. I always say that Sloane is the type of player that can play to her opponents level, I just didn’t want to see her exert any extra energy at this stage. That is partly as she is playing Garbine Mugurza next. The Spaniard is once again showing her love for RG after she beat Elina Svitolina in three. The Ukranian admitted after that her right knee was a problem and in the worst case scenario she would miss the grass season.
Jo Konta has beaten Viktoria Kuzmova very easily and continues to play well. She is probably feeling pretty relaxed and can just enjoy each match as it comes, her level would suggest so. She will like her chances of making the quarters after Donna Vekic took out an out of sorts Belinda Bencic. The head-to-head is 3-3 but I like Konta’s chances here. Elsewhere Madison Keys and Lesia Tsurenko won their matches that were held from overnight. Tsurenko somehow beat Krunic 11/9 in the third and was certainly suffering physically.
Rafa dropping a set to David Goffin came as a bit of a shock to me. I don’t think Rafa was too impressed with going four, saying he needs to “play at his top level” and if he doesn’t it “gets a lot tougher for me”. It certainly turned out to be a test and Goffin has it in him, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised, but this is Rafa in Paris. His fourth-round opponent will be Juan Ignacio Londero who ended the hopes of Frenchman, Corentin Moutet.
Kei Nishikori struggled against Laslo Djere. Kei was a set and a break-up but found himself 3-0, double break down, in the decider to the Serb. I’ve quite enjoyed watching bits of Djere lately, plenty of heart in his play. He probably should have finished this off in the end, Nishikori loves a tight match though. Benoit Paire is waiting for him in the fourth round, after he benefited from Pablo Carreno Busta picking up a puncture in his adductor, at the start of the third set breaker. Having lost that he knew he could not continue. It is a touch for Paire though, after his five-set marathon against Hugues Herbert, this was likely to go the distance too.
Roger Federer will be very happy with his run here. He took care of Casper Ruud very impressively. The Norwegian upped his level in the third and Federer just about withstood the pressure to win the breaker. There has been minimum energy lost from the Fed-Express so far and I’m not sure how much will actually be lost against Leo Mayer next. The Argentine is playing well, he finished of Nico Mahut chances here in four sets but it looks a good matchup for Fed.
From the matches (held) overnight, Tsitsipas is worrying me a little, he hasn’t had it all plain sailing against Filip Krajinovic, who was 5-2 up in the third. Stefanos does lead by two sets (and its 5-5 in the third now) but there are just a few warning signs here. Stan leads Dimitrov by two sets, he is going along very nicely here. Martin Klizan won a topsy turvy five-setter against Lucas Pouille 9/7. Klizan should have won this in four but was lucky to come back from 3-5 in the decider in the end.
Andy Del Potro