Alexander Zverev beats Bernabé Zapata Miralles 7-6 (11), 7-5, 6-3!

A brief flurry of resistance from the Spaniard was followed by three straight games pocketed by the world No 3 to close out the match. He’s through after a two hour 45 min test in his fourth-round match.

The first point of the fourth set, with Philippe-Chatrier in shade for the first time in a while, goes to Nadal on his opponent’s serve, and then a wild mis-hit from Auger-Aliassime makes thing uncomfortable once more. The Spaniard goes long next time up, and dabs an attempted return wide – 30-30.

The Canadian’s best serve in a while catches Nadal with his hands slightly wrong, and then a firmly struck effort gives his opponent no time to wrap his arm around the ball at the baseline. Fair play, that’s an excellent hold and a welcome one for the world No 9. Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 1-0 Nadal

Nadal nails his service game to love, the final flourish a lovely looping crosscourt thwack that leaves the Canadian looking dejected. The momentum is firmly with the 13-time champion. Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 3-6, 2-6 Nadal

A bit of resistance from Zapata Miralles gives Zverev something to think about, breaking the world No 3 and then holding to take the third set to 3-3. The German then holds to move 4-3 ahead.

On Philippe-Chatrier, Nadal once again takes the initiative on his opponent’s serve. A slightly tired and limp service game results in feeding the veteran’s crosscourt backhand, and he masterfully takes the game to 15. He’ll now serve for the third set. Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 3-6, 2-5 Nadal

Bernabe Zapata Miralles in action
Bernabe Zapata Miralles in action Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Auger-Aliassime gets a glimpse of an opening on Nadal’s serve, but a changed-up delivery catches the Canadian napping at 30-30, and the world No 5 takes the game at the first time of asking. Already it’s 2-4 in the set. Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 3-6, 2-4 Nadal

Once again Auger-Aliassime loses the first two points on his own serve. And he initially responds well again, levelling at 30-all. Another missed first serve makes things that little bit tougher again, however, and Nadal, wincing but fooling nobody, finds a winner to bring up another break point. That’s saved, and followed by a smashed winner to give him respite and the initiative in the game. He’s visibly relieved to see his opponent slam a return into the net. Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 3-6, 2-3 Nadal

Zverev moves to 3-1 ahead in the third set on Suzanne-Lenglen.

Meanwhile, in the mixed doubles Britain’s Neal Skupski and Desirae Krawczyk of the US – the reigning Wimbledon champions – have beaten Storm Sanders and Sander Gillé – they take their second-round match 8-6, 4-6, 6-3.

Suddenly it’s a game of chase for Auger-Aliassime on Nadal’s serve, and a fairly sad attempted return from the youngster sees his opponent win to 15 – he has now pocketed four of the last five games. Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 3-6, 1-3 Nadal

Nadal’s relentless power into either corner takes him to 0-40, threatening another break. The 21-year-old accounts for one and then finds the corner with a pacy second serve to help save another. He looks every bit like taking things to deuce, well on top of the point, but extraordinary defence from Nadal, including from a vicious overhead smash, gives him another ball to hit … and he sends a smash long to hand over an early break. Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 3-6, 1-2 Nadal

Meanwhile Zverev breaks in the opening game of the third set, then consolidates it with his own serve to leave Nadal’s fellow Spaniard plenty to do. Zverev leads 7-6 (11), 7-5, 2-0

A quickfire service game to 15 for Nadal levels matters once more. Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 3-6, 1-1 Nadal

On Suzanne-Lenglen, third seed Alexander Zverev is two sets to the good against Bernabé Zapata Miralles. He now leads – 7-6 (11), 7-5

More useful volleying from Nadal takes him to 15-30 on the Canadian’s serve … and then a well-arced lob leaves Auger-Aliassime backpedalling from the net, swiping helplessly to nowhere useful, and bringing up two break points. Both are saved, and then a biff down his forehand side gives the server a welcome advantage. A fourth point in succession, safely keeping on top of things at the net, holds serve to make it Auger-Aliassime 6-3 3-6 1-0 Nadal.

Stuart ‘ere, jumping in at the “oo-er” moment while Daniel takes a glass of squash and a cold towel. Auger-Aliassime goes 30-15 ahead, only to be pegged back to 30-30. Nadal then swiftly moves to set point … but tamely slams his first serve into the net with parity beckoning.

However, the Spaniard quickly takes the initiative after a well-aimed second delivery, then takes sends his opponent wide and helpless. The salvaged forehand leaved the court wide open, and Nadal dabs the set-securing drop shot over the net – 6-3 Nadal and one set all.

Righto, that’s me done for today – here’s Stuart Goodwin to guide you through the rest of the day. On which point, Zverev and Zapata Miralles are at 5-5 and deuce in set two. Peace out.

Auger-Aliassime will be regretting those break points he missed earlier in the set – did he miss his chance to kick Nadal while he was down? They end up at 40-30 and Nadal tightens when serving … but a sensational backhand to follow a second effort sets up the tap-away, and we’re level at a set apiece!

Have things changed on Lenglen? Zverev breaks Zapata Miraelles for 4-4 while, on Chatrier, Auger-Aliassime is 15-40. In the first set, he had to keep coming from behind on serve, and there’s only so long you can get away with that kind of thing against Nadal on clay. Auger-Aliassime, though, sends Nadal wide with a big forehand, then executes a nice drop on the back for 30-40 and we’re soon at deuce; as I said earlier, he’s played the big points better so far. Until now! Nadal works another opportunity and this time, Auger-Aliassime shanks a forehand and Nadal will now serve for set two! Auger-Aliassime 6-3 3-5 Nadal

A second consecutive love-hold for Nadal who now leads 4-3 in set two. He’ll have to go some to get the break, but he’ll be delighted with the short games, especially as his backhand seems to be improving.

Zapata Miralles earns two points for a double break but Zverev saves both, the second with a barrage of forehand violence. Eventually, he secures the hold for 3-4 in set two, but everything is difficult for him at the moment.

Oh wow, sent out to the forehand side, Zapata Miralles hooks a shot that breaks the sideline cross-court! How on earth did he find that angle? He holds for 4-2, and is playing pretty much as well as he can – not unlike Auger-Aliassime, who is full of confidence and going for his shots. However, Nadal is improving a bit and secures his first love hold to trail 3-6 3-2.

Goodness me, a double double-fault game from Zverev, who hands Zapata Miralles a break and a 3-2 lead in set two. Zverev has big weapons, but he’s just a bit streaky and a bit careless.

Nadal goes inside-out on the forehand, doesn’t put enough on it, and opens a lane down the line that Auger-Aliassime hits, raising break point! He can’t convert, an inside-out forehand of his own missing the line by a fraction, but a brilliant scurry and drop on advantage gives him another shy. He is just so quick around the court, and we’re told that the Canadian federation thought him the best athlete they’d ever seen when he walked through the door; he might actually be the best athlete tennis has ever seen. Nadal, though, is alright too, and eventually holds to trail 3-6 2-1 while, on Lenglen, Zverev has broken Zapata Miralles back for 2-2 the second, having won the first 7-6(11).

Auger-Aliassime is so confident out there now, rattling through his first service-game of the set for 1-1 – and with a net-cord forcing Nadal to slip and dive for extra points. And just as he’s not going anywhere, nor is Zapata Miralles, who breaks Zverev in the first game of set two when he could’ve been excused for losing focus after working so hard for no reward.

Zapata Miralles goes long on the forehand, and Zverev takes the first set 7-6(11)! That will sting the Spaniard, who’s played well, fought like an animal, and still ended up with nowt. Can he rebound from the disappointment?

Auger-Aliassime holds, and he takes the first set off Nadal 6-3! There’s a long way to go, but Nadal’s not hitting his backhand with the usual venom, prompting the commentators to wonder if he can properly plant his front foot and put weight on it. We shall see, but the difference so far is that the young Canadian has played the big points better. What an accolade that is!

Nadal holds for 5-3, so Auger-Aliassime will have to serve for the set a second time; he quickly makes 40-0. Zverev, meanwhile saves a set point at 8-9, then earns another for himself.

A terrific forehand from Zapata Miralles level the breaker at 7-7 – set point there was on the Zverev serve – and shortly afterwards, the Spaniard is serving at 8-7…

Zverev has made hard work of this first set, more or less winning it by securing a double-break, prior to handing it back. Then he takes a 5-2 lead in the breaker, finds himself pegged back to 5-4 … and balloons a forehand! Zapata Miralles is getting a lot of balls into court, but even so, this should be in the books. Meantime, Auger-Aliassime is also returning a break, his lead now cut to 5-2. P-r-e-s-s-u-r-e!

Zverev is experiencing some wild fluctuations here, and he just about serves out for a first-set breaker. Auger-Aliassime, meanwhile, has just broken Nadal again for 5-1 – Uncle Toni, we learn has helped him stay in rallies longer so he can turn up the power more often and he’s looking very well-organised these days.

Brilliant from Nadal, getting to 0-30 then flicking a terrific lob after chasing a decent drop that sets up three break points. Auger-Aliassime, though, stays calm to save them all and close out for 4-1, while Zverev clumps a forehand wide and he’s gone to pieces here. Zverev 5-5 Zapata Miaralles

Zapata Miralles has retrieved one of the two breaks Zverev took off him, to trail 3-4 in set one, while Auger-Alissime’s backhand stands up well in a rally that gets him 30-40 and his first break point of the match. Nadal, though, thunders down a service winner … but it doesn’t matter because Auger-Aliassime takes two rallies in a row for 3-1! Since 2015, Nadal has lost 70 service games at Roland Garros, and on 33 of those occasions, he’s broken back immediately. That is absurd.

At 15-40, Auger-Aliassime has two break points to save. The first is easily rescued, Nadal going long with a backhand return, then two phat backhands earn deuce. We see Uncle Toni, the man who helped Rafa so much and now coaches Felix, and he’ll doubtless be chuffed when a big serve closes out the game. Auger-Aliassime 2-1 Nadal

On Chatrier, we begin with a hold apiece, Auger-Aliassime working harder for his than Nadal; Zverev, meanwhile, looks nothing like the player who lost the first two sets to Sebastian Baez on Wednesday and now leads 4-1 with a double break.

Zverev and Zapata Miralles are away, and Zverev breaks immediately then consolidates for 2-0.

Mats tells us he had a chat with Auger-Alissime’s coach recently, who said early in the clay-court season, his charge was playing like too clay-court – looping too many balls and trying to construct points. In more recent weeks, he’s been attacking more, and that’s what he’ll have to do to have a chance here. He’ll be concerned about how his backhand stands up to Nadal’s top-spin forehand – even more reason to shorten the points if he can.

Nadal and Auger-Aliassime are coming out, Nadal having watched Real Madrid beat Liverpool last evening. Decent little coincidence that, the Champions League final in Paris and his team playing in it.

I can’t wait for Nadal v Auger-Aliassime. Obviously Nadal is a huge favourite, but Auger-Aliassime moves so well and is playing with more confidence than before. If he serves well, he’s got a chance.

Gauff says she had to fight through some tough moments in set one, and is also congratulated on her ballerina-style gear by Marion Bartoli. She’s really chuffed to have graduated from high school and is having the most fun she’s ever had a a major. She thanks the crowd and then thanks Bartoli, saying she once watched her practise and got her autograph – Bartoli took care to sign for everyone. That’s a nice moment.

gauff
Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Next on Chatrier: Auger-Aliassime [9] v Nadal [5]

Next on Lenglen: Zverev [3] v Zapata Miralles

Coco Gauff [18] beats Elise Mertens [31] 6-4 6-0!

A booming backhand cross-court is too good for Mertens, and Gauff is through to meet either Teichman or Stephens next! She played really well today, and will fancy herself against whoever comes next.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff of the USA reacts after winning against Elise Mertens of Belgium. Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA

Gauff now leads Mertens 5-0 in the decider and does brilliantly to hang in a rally that she eventually wins for 0-30. We wind up at 30-40, and Gauff has her first match point…

Novak Djokovic [1] beats Diego Schwartzman [15] 6-1 6-3 6-3!

A glorious drop-volley seals the deal and Djoovic sails through – but up next for him it’s either Nadal or Auger-Aliassime, so things should get more taxing from here.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters



Reference-www.theguardian.com

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