Thursday, March 4, 2021

Cilic, Muguruza, Thiem struggles into French Open 3rd round

PARIS, May 31: Third seed Marin Cilic reached the French Open third round for the eighth time on Thursday 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.
It was a roller-coaster of a performance by Cilic who cracked 48 winners but also 52 unforced errors.
Garbine Muguruza cruised past French wild card player Fiona Ferro 6-4 6-3 on Thursday, booking her place in the French Open third round.
The Spaniard sealed the match with a whipped cross-court forehand, though for much of the match the number three seed struggled to find her rhythm and range on the forehand.
Muguruza, who won at Roland Garros in 2016 and heads to Wimbledon this year as defending champion, had not played 21-year-old Ferro before Thursday’s encounter.
“She’s young and she’s talented,” Muguruza said in a post-match interview on court Suzanne Lenglen. “These matches are very difficult.”
Muguruza arrived in Paris as one of five women with a chance of claiming the world number one spot.
Austrian Dominic Thiem returned to Court 18 to finish off Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas and reach the French Open third round for the third consecutive year on Thursday.
The seventh seed was leading 6-2 2-6 6-4 2-2 when the battle of the single-handed backhands was suspended because of bad light the previous day.
Thiem made sure he was not further delayed as he polished off the fourth set 6-4.
Tsitsipas, 19, had beaten Thiem in Barcelona in the build-up to Roland Garros and was bidding to become the first Greek man to reach the third round of a Grand Slam since 1969.
Thiem, beaten by Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals last year, will face Italian Matteo Berrettini on Friday. (Agencies)