Roger Federer won the generation game on Friday at the French Open, defeating the son of a player who was active on the Tour when the Swiss got his start two decades ago.

But the shock of the day was in the women’s draw  Croatian Petra Martic knocking second seed Karolina Pliskova out in the third round 6-3, 6-3.

The win was the first for the 31st-ranked Martic who last beat a Top 10 opponent at a Grand Slam in 2012.

“For sure this this was one of my bigger ones,” Martic said of the struggle.

Back at the men’s tournament , the 20-time Grand Slam winner stepped onto court at Roland Garros looking  the business as he  prepared to start his 400th match at a Grand Slam, a record he holds alone among both men and women.

The resulting 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(8) defeat of Casper Ruud – 20-year-old 63rd-ranked son of ex-player Christian Ruud – kept Federer in the chase as he returns to play the Paris clay for the first time since 2015.

Casper Ruud in third round match. Photo: Anne Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

The elder Ruud, who was ending his career in his early 30s, had recalled a practise session back in the day with a rising teenaged Federer – limited info he passed onto his son..

The Swiss icon, 37, has moved into the Roland Garros fourth round for the 14th time; early on in the contest, he served his 11,000 ace as he played in his 1,410th match.

https://youtu.be/A7InIIWrGB8

Only Ivo Karlovic (13,378) and John Isner (11,403) have fired more untouchable serves.

“I enjoyed the match. I thought it was tough, even though I had a good run there for a while,” Federer said.

“It’s very important for me to know  that I can run through a set and a half and just take care of business. It gives me confidence for the next match. That’s for sure.”

Roger Federer wins his third round match. Photo: Anne Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

Federer got to work in the opening set as he claimed it in 38 minutes with two breaks and had raced to 5-0 in the second before Ruud had a chance at a game.

With the third seed leading two sets to love, it looked like just a matter of time before Federer completed his job.

But Ruud rose to the occasion on the Lenglen showcase court, taking the third set into a tiebreaker and forcing Federer to a third match point before it finally ended. Victory took just over two hours, as the seed moved through on an overhead smash.

“The third set could have gone either way. He had chances early, then later, and then again after,” Federer said of Ruud.

“It was nice to see him hang in there. I can see why he’s going to be good in the future. He’s got a great attitude, very calm, very quiet, maybe very Norwegian, I’m not sure.”

Rafael Nadal made sure lightning didn’t strike twice on the 10-year anniversary of his loss in the third round to Robin Soderling,one of only two defeats the 11-time champion has ever taken here.

Rafa Nadal wins third round match. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

The 2009 exit of the king of clay opened the door for Federer to win his only title here a week later. Second seed Nadal reached the last 16 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 over Belgium’s David Goffin.

“It  happened that in the first set I played unbelievable, then I had a good second set, too,” Nadal said.

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“in the fourth, of course I had to fight again, and I think I increased a little bit again the aggressivity, and that was, at the end, the key.”

Japan’s seventh seed Kei Nishikori needed almost four and a half hours to outlast Serb Laslo Djere in a 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3, 4-6, 8-6 victory.

Nishikori advanced with 48 each of winners and unforced errors in the marathon.

Kei Nishikori moves into last sixteen. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

French 37-year-old wild card Nicolas Mahut lost to Leo Mayer 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-6(3). The end of the match was emotional, with Mahut’s young run running onto the court to hug his tearful father and Mayer looking with tears in his own eyes.

WOMEN’S

Croatian Martic pulled off the biggest upset so far at the Open, knocking Karolina Pliskova out in the third round 6-3, 6-3. The victory in 95 minutes put Martic into the WTA lead with 14 clay victories, with Rome champion Pliskova unable to make an impression on the day.

Petra Martic was a  shock winner. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

The Czech still leads the Tour with 29 overall victories so far in 2019; she had reached the quarter-finals at seven of her last 10 Grand Slams, the best of any woman player.

Her third-round exit guarantees that Naomi Osaka will remain No. 1 at tournament’s end under any possible scenario; Pliskova was the last player with a chance to displace the Japanese atop the table.

The win was the first for the 31st-ranked Martic who last beat a Top 10 opponent at a Grand Slam in 2012.

“For sure this this was one of my bigger ones,” Martic said of the struggle.

“But I have bigger goals than that, and I hope I can just continue this way”

“The key was to focus on my game and try to dictate instead of letting her dictate, which is her biggest strength. At times it was difficult, especially when she broke me and when she got a few winners, which she’s known for. I’m just happy that I managed in the end to hold my nerves and to finish it off.”

Pliskova said the match was hard fought, especially a final set lasting one hour, 41 minutes.

Karolina Pliskova loses second round match. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

“I had some chances in a couple games near the end, she just made it difficult today for me.

“She has the kind of game which you don’t feel good about, I think she played well.”

2016 champion Garbine Muguruza won a winner-take-all duel with ninth seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-3.

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The Spaniard came in with a perfect 5-0 record in Paris third-round matches but a 1-5 mark against her Ukrainian opponent; she’s now 27-5 at the tournament.

“I am very pleased about this match,” Muguruza said. “We’ve played many times, and the last times she has beaten me.

“I was looking forward for another match, another match against a top player.

Garbine Muguruza wins third round match. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

I’m very happy about the win.” Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova had to work for more than three and a quarter hours to eliminate Belgian Elise Mertens 6-7(3), 6-4, 11-9, surpassing her best previous Paris performance by a round.

Anastasija Sevastova. Photo: Anne Parker International Sports Fotos

The winner saved five match points along the way. US 14th seed Madison Keys reached the fourth round over Patricia Hon 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 after nearly 40 unforced errors from the Australian. Donna Vekic beat Swiss Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-1.

Johanna Konta became the first British woman to reach the French Open last 16 since 1983 by thrashing Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova at Roland Garros.

Johanna Konta wins third round match. Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd http://www.grandslamtennis.online

Konta, 28, continued her fine clay-court season with a 6-2 6-1 late-evening victory on the new Court Simonne Mathieu.

Despite suffering sickness this week, the 26th seed broke serve five times to seal an impressive win in 54 minutes.

 

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