French Open 2019: Novak Djokovic into third round at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic has won 15 Grand Slam titles but his 2016 success remains his only French Open title
2019 French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 26 May-9 June
Coverage: Live text and radio commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.

World number one Novak Djokovic claimed a routine win over 'lucky loser' Henri Laaksonen to move into the third round of the French Open at Roland Garros.

Djokovic who won the 2016 competition, secured a 6-1 6-4 6-3 victory on Court Suzanne Lenglen in Paris.

He is aiming for his second Grand Slam title of 2019 after winning the Australian Open in January.

All of the top 10 seeded players in the men's singles are into the third round after wins for six of them on Thursday.

Edmund retires from second-round match

Laaksonen was beaten by Sweden's Mikael Ymer in the third round of qualifying but took his place in the main draw after benefiting from withdrawals.

The Swiss, ranked 104th in the world, beat Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez in the opening round to set up a first meeting with 15-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic.

The first set lasted only 23 minutes, but Laaksonen provided more resistance in the second, breaking Djokovic's serve in the sixth game.

However, Djokovic twice broke Laaksonen's serve in consecutive service games to take a two-set lead.

Djokovic, 32, will play unseeded Italian Salvatore Caruso, who knocked out France's 26th seed Gilles Simon.

Thiem and Zverev safely through

Fourth seed Dominic Thiem, the runner-up last year, moved into round three with a 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-5 win over Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik.

Bublik three times opted to play underarm serves to disrupt Thiem's rhythm, but could not beat the Austrian, who faces Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas after Britain's Kyle Edmund pulled out with injury in the third set.

Asked about Bublik's underarm serves, Thiem said: "It's a good choice against players like us who are so far behind the baseline.

"For me it was tough. I had difficulties finding the right position. I didn't practise [for] it but I just expect it from time to time. He won two out of three. Sometimes it's quite a good tactic."

'We've seen so many underarm serves' - analysis

Stuart Fraser, Times tennis correspondent, on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

Bublik has played underarm serves, taking some inspiration from Nick Kyrgios earlier this year. Someone made the point that they could be the first underarm serves on Chatrier since Martina Hingis 20 years ago?

This year is also the 30th anniversary of Michael Chang's famous underarm against Ivan Lendl.

Someone like Rafael Nadal stands so far back, so there is an opportunity here and there if you get enough side-spin on it to play it. We've seen it so much this year.


German fifth seed Alexander Zverev beat Mikael Ymer 6-1 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to set up a meeting with 30th seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, who overcame French qualifier Elliot Benchetrit 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Argentine eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro survived a scare before beating Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-2.

There were also wins for ninth seed Fabio Fognini and 10th seed Karen Khachanov, who defeated Federico Delbonis and Gregoire Barrere respectively.

Fourteenth seed Gael Monfils, a French Open semi-finalist 11 years ago, knocked out fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Monfils reached the third round at Roland Garros for an 11th time, equalling the French record held by Mary Pierce and Yannick Noah.

Diego Schwartzman, the 17th seed, lost 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-5 to fellow Argentine Leonardo Mayer.

French wildcard Antoine Hoang won 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 against Spanish 23rd seed Fernando Verdasco, who beat Britain's Dan Evans in the first round.

Croat Ivo Karlovic, 40, who on Tuesday became the oldest player to win a match at Roland-Garros for 46 years, lost 6-3 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 to Australian Jordan Thompson.

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