2019 French Open: Naomi Osaka Escapes Again

PARIS — Naomi Osaka survived another fraught match at the French Open to cling onto her quest for a third consecutive Grand Slam title.

After losing the first set and being a break down in the second, the top-ranked Osaka rallied to beat the former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, on Thursday.

Broken by a backhand volley at the net from Azarenka in the fifth game of the second set, Osaka seemed to be in deep trouble. But, as she did in a three-set win in the first round, Osaka again proved her resilience as she turned the match around on Suzanne Lenglen Court to advance to the third round.

[French Open scoreboard: Men’s singles | Women’s singles]

The fourth seed in the men’s draw, Dominic Thiem, also avoided an upset, overcoming some trickery from his Kazakh opponent, Alexander Bublik, to advance to the third round, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 7-5.

Bublik surprised Thiem with an underhand serve in the first set and frustrated him with a series of drop shots, spins and volleys.

But Thiem, a finalist at Roland Garros last year, recovered from a break of serve in the fourth set and then gave Bublik a taste of his own medicine on his first match point, producing a well-disguised — and successful — drop shot.

Thiem will next face Pablo Cuevas, another master of trick shots. Cuevas was leading, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 2-1, when Kyle Edmund retired from their match because of a left knee injury.

The American teenager Amanda Anisimova did pull off an upset, defeating 11th-ranked Aryna Sabalenka, 6-4, 6-2

Anisimova, 17, is proving to be a jinx at Grand Slam tournaments for Sabalenka, who lost to Anisimova in the third round of the Australian Open in January.

Anisimova, ranked No. 51, is making only her second appearance at Roland Garros. She lost in the first round in 2017.

Another teenager, Iga Swiatek, who turns 18 on Friday, knocked out 16th-seeded Wang Qiang, 6-3, 6-0, in under an hour to reach the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

Source: NYT

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