French Open: Cilic, Thiem Battle Into Round Three With Tough Wins
Title challengers Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem struggled into the French Open last 32 on Thursday as Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal waited to join them.
Marin Cilic. (Twitter/ Live Tennis)
Paris: Title challengers Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem struggled into the French Open last 32 on Thursday as Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal waited to join them.
Third seed Cilic reached the third round for the eighth time with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-7 3/7), 7-5 win over Polish qualifier and world number 188 Hubert Hurkacz.
Former US Open champion Cilic, who reached the quarter-finals in Paris last year, will face Steve Johnson of the United States for a place in the last 16.
However, it was a roller-coaster of a performance by newly-wed Cilic who cracked 48 winners but also 52 unforced errors.
"I was in control but played a poor third set so I had to start all over again," said 29-year-year-old Cilic.
"I had to be positive, positive, positive. I screamed just to let it all out and I got the break in the 11th game."
Seventh seeded Thiem, a semi-finalist in 2016 and 2017, racked up his 31st win of the year.
The Austrian, the only man to beat world number one Rafael Nadal on clay this year, saw off Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a match which had been suspended overnight after the third set.
Next up for Thiem is Italy's Matteo Berrettini.
Highly-rated Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov was knocked out by Germany's Maximilian Marterer 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5, 6-4.
World number 70 Marterer, 22, has now reached the third round at successive Grand Slam events and will face a lucky loser for a place in the last 16 -- either Belgian Ruben Bemmelmans or Estonia's Jurgen Zopp.
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